Pakistan to repatriate nearly 2,000 stranded citizens - GulfToday

Pakistan to repatriate nearly 2,000 stranded citizens


The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / Indo-Asian News Service 

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Dr0 Moeed Yousuf said that that the government will be bringing back as many as 2,000 stranded Pakistanis beginning this week.

Yousuf told the media that around 2,000 stranded Pakistanis would be brought back through PIA and other airlines to be operated from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan airports. He said the government would bring back a batch of 2,000 overseas Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Algeria and Thailand.

“The government has devised a strategy under which the labourers who have lost their jobs in other countries will be brought back as the first priority and then the Zaireen and Umrah pilgrims, released prisoners and in the last those whose visas have expired,” he added.

Pakistan has so far confirmed 4,974 coronavirus cases, with 80 deaths.

Earlier, Pakistan's National Command and Operation Centre on COVID-19 directed all provincial governments to reopen their airports to avoid chaos in Islamabad, it was reported.

Since the provincial governments closed their airports in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, all flights bringing Pakistanis from abroad were landing at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA), reports Dawn news.

During the last few weeks, a large number of Pakistanis returned from different parts of the world, including Europe, the US and the Middle East.

The Foreign Office informed the capital administration prior to the arrival of the Pakistanis for arrangements to keep the passengers at quarantine centres as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.

Officials said as the number of passengers kept increasing, the number of quarantines increased to 14 with a maximum capacity to keep 600 people.

A few days ago, the capital administration informed Foreign Office that it had turned a maximum number of suitable buildings into quarantine centres.

No more suitable buildings were found for quarantining the Pakistanis returning from abroad.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn news that the provincial airportswill reopen by April 13.
He adding there was no flight arriving in the capital on April 10 and 12. However, three flights are scheduled to land in the capital on April 11 with 200 passengers.

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