Islamabad: Some of the Pakistani nationals stranded in coronavirus-hit China started arriving home as Islamabad allowed Monday two Chinese flights to land here, a day after it received special medical kits from Beijing to detect the deadly virus cases.
Pakistan suspended flights from China January 31 till February 2, a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of the virus as a global health emergency.
According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA), two flights of China Southern Airlines from Urumqi city of China landed at the international airport here.
One of the flights – CZ6007 – carried 69 passengers, including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese. Officials said a Qatar Airlines flight also came from Doha, bringing at least 40 Pakistani students from China who had travelled to Qatar due to suspension of direct flights to Pakistan.
Assistant to prime minister on Health Zafar Mirza was at the airport to see the arrival and mandatory checks on the passengers.
““At Islamabad airport this morning – received passengers from China along with HE Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan. We supervised implementation of ‘Airport SOPs’ and I interviewed passengers,” Mirza tweeted.
““Following all international protocols ensuring their health & safety as well as that of all Pakistanis. A responsible Pakistan means being emotional when needed but rational and practical in decision making as well. We support the Chinese Govt efforts to overcome CNV (coronavirus),” said the official.
So far, no case of the virus has been found in Pakistan. While India, the US, Sri Lanka and many other countries evacuated their nationals from Wuhan, Pakistan has declined pleas by its stranded citizens in the city to airlift them.