Imran Khan decides to bring back stranded Pakistanis
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security, Dr Moeed Yusuf has said the government’s target is to bring back all the stranded Pakistanis from abroad at the earliest in a safe manner.
Several countries, including the US, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, have given permission for special flights by the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).“The PIA still does not have access to many of 88 countries where our citizens are stranded. But we are making alternative arrangements to bring them back,” said Yusuf.
#PIA Special Flight PK 8710 carrying 250 stranded #Pakistanis departed from Jeddah to Lahore at 0230 hours on Friday 1 May, 2020. #ConsulGeneral Khalid Majid and Deputy Consul General Shaiq Ahmed Bhutto saw the off at airport. pic.twitter.com/THLco8kwgH
— PakConsulate Jeddah (@PakCG_jeddah) May 1, 2020
“Laborers and daily wagers, who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis or those whose visas have or are about to expire, will be brought back on priority.” He further stated.
Addressing a news conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza, he said fifteen thousand stranded Pakistanis have so far been brought back from thirty-eight countries.
He said it has been decided to operate thirty flights in the next ten days and the focus of these flights will be United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as ninety per cent of one hundred thousand stranded Pakistanis are in these gulf countries. He said flights will be operated in other regions also including Africa to facilitate the return of stranded Pakistanis.
The Special Assistant said the flights are being operated keeping in view our capacity of testing and quarantine.
Moeed Yusuf said the process of bringing back Pakistanis will be further accelerated in the days ahead with improvement in testing and quarantine capacity.
The Special Assistant on National Health Services once again appealed the people to follow precautionary measures and the SOPs to avoid the spread of the Covid-19.
Dr Zafar Mirza said the testing capacity is being enhanced. So far, one hundred and ninety-four thousand tests have been carried out. Of these nine thousand and one hundred and sixty-four were carried out during the last twenty-four hours which are the highest in a single day. He expressed the commitment to further enhancing the testing capacity in the days ahead.
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has claimed to develop coronavirus detection kits. The researchers at the Attaur Rahman School of Applied Biosciences successfully produced a local Molecular Detection Assays for the detection of the novel coronavirus. Social media users appreciated the researchers of NUST for locally developing the screening kits at a time when cases of coronavirus are rising exponentially in Pakistan
Dr Zafar Mirza said the coronavirus cases have witnessed an increase in the country but these are still less than the projections. According to the data collected by John Hopkins University, Pakistan has become the hardest-hit country in South Asia after the number of infected people in India reached 18,114 with a mortality rate of 417 people on Friday. In Pakistan, Punjab and Sindh contain most of the COVID-19 cases with 6733 and 6675 cases respectively.