Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health personally monitors airport SOPs to prevent spread of coronavirus in Pakistan
Over 60 passengers from China’s Urumqi city reached Pakistan on Monday, as Islamabad resumed direct flights between the neighboring nations following a brief suspension due to ongoing concerns over the novel coronavirus sweeping the world.
A spokesman for the Aviation Division on Sunday said Pakistan had decided to resume direct flights from Feb. 3. The flights had been suspended on Jan. 29 as a preventive measure to control the spread of the coronavirus. Health authorities said all passengers would be screened for the virus before being allowed to leave the airport and anyone with troubling symptoms would be quarantined.
Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing personally supervised the screening mechanism for the first flight to reach Islamabad.
“At Islamabad airport this morning—received passengers from China along with HE Chinese Ambassador [in Pakistan]. CZ6007 brought 69 passengers, including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese. We supervised implementation of ‘Airport SOPs’ and I interviewed passengers,” he posted on Twitter, adding information booths had been setup at all major airports to apprise travelers about the coronavirus.
Last week, the World Health Organization declared the spread of the novel coronavirus a “global health emergency.” Originating from China’s Wuhei city, the virus has caused 360 casualties so far, with over 14,500 people reportedly infected globally.
Pakistan last week made it clear it would not evacuate any citizens stranded in Wuhei, saying it risked spreading the disease and reassuring concerned citizens that Pakistanis infected with the coronavirus in China were receiving the best possible treatment. Several students who had been stranded returned on the flights to Pakistan on Monday.
The virus has spread to over 24 countries, despite many governments imposing travel bans on people coming from China.