The stranded Pakistanis begin arriving home from China, hit by the coronavirus
ISLAMABAD: Some of the stranded in China, affected by the coronavirus, began arriving home, since Islamabad allowed two Chinese flights to land here on Monday, a day after it received special medical kits from Beijing to detect virus cases deadly
Pakistan suspended flights from China on January 31 until February 2, a day after the World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak as a global health emergency.
According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA), two flights from South China Airlines from the Chinese city of Urumqi landed at the Islamabad International Airport.
One of the flights, the CZ6007, carried 69 passengers, including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese.
Flights were allowed a day after Pakistan said it had received special medical kits from China to detect cases.
Authorities said a Qatar Airlines flight also arrived from Doha, bringing at least 40 Pakistani students from China who had traveled to Qatar due to the suspension of direct flights to Pakistan.
The assistant to the Prime Minister of Health, Zafar Mirza, was at the airport to see the arrival and mandatory passenger checks.
“At the Islamabad airport this morning, I received passengers from China along with the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan. We supervised the SOP implementation of the airport and interviewed the passengers, Mirza tweeted.
“Follow all international protocols that guarantee your health and safety, as well as that of all Pakistanis. Responsible Pakistan means being emotional when necessary, but also rational and practical in decision making. We support the efforts of the Chinese government to overcome the CNV (coronavirus), ”he said.
So far, no case of the virus has been found in Pakistan.
While India, the United States, Sri Lanka and many other countries evacuated their citizens, Pakistan has rejected the pleas of its citizens stranded in the city to transport them by air.
Pakistan's ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi, said Sunday that Pakistani students should not be evacuated from Wuhan, since medical facilities in his country do not meet the standards required to treat a patient diagnosed with coronavirus.
The number of deaths in the coronavirus epidemic shot up to 361 with 57 deaths on Sunday alone, while the number of confirmed cases increased to 17,205.
There were up to 800 Pakistanis studying at several universities in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people that has been quarantined by Chinese authorities in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Earlier, the Foreign Ministry said there were 28,000 Pakistani students currently in China, apart from hundreds of businessmen.