Pakistan decides to suspend flight operations to tackle coronavirus

Pakistan decides to suspend flight operations to tackle coronavirus

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to contain spread of coronavirus, the government of Pakistan has decided to suspend international flight operations from 08:00pm for the next two weeks. The decision has been taken after consultation with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In a press conference along with Special Adviser to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal in Islamabad today, SAPM) on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Dr Moeed Yusuf said that a few international flights of Pakistan International Airlines will be allowed to return.
On the other hand, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suspended its international operations for a week amid a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
The flight ban starting Saturday evening will run through March 28, Abdullah Khan, a spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), told reporters.
People have been advised to contact PIA call center for further information and change in booking dates.
The railways have already announced the suspension of 34 trains to Sindh and Balochistan – the two worst hit provinces by coronavirus.
In a video message on Twitter, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that out of 134 total trains, 100 are still operational which has cut down the number of daily train passengers from 200,000 to 165,000.
He also highlighted that Pakistan Railways has refunded train tickets worth Rs80 million to affected passengers which could be used to travel through alternate trains.
On the other hand, Pakistan has partially reopened Chaman border with Afghanistan for the transportation of food items. DC Qillah Abdullah District Muhammad Bashir said the step has been taken as per the agreement concluded with the Afghan authorities.
He said about one hundred and fifty seven containers loaded with food items including vegetables and fresh fruit have been dispatched to Afghanistan.
Pedestrian movement on the border remains suspended.
Earlier, in a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan instructed to open the Chaman-Spin Boldak border and let the trucks crossover into Afghanistan.
Pakistan sealed its border with Iran last week, but not before hundreds of pilgrims returned home from the Islamic Republic, which has been one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Number of confirmed cases in Pakistan has surged to 543 as 267 patients have been tested positive for the epidemic in Sindh, 104 in Balochistan, 104 in Punjab, 27 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 30 in Gilgit-Baltistan, ten in Islamabad and one Azad Kashmir
Pakistan has so far confirmed three fatalities from the pandemic, with latest casualty being a 77-year-old man in Karachi on Friday (yesterday). The first two deaths were reported in Mardan and Hangu of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here