The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
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.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Thursday that several countries were not showing "the level of political commitment" needed to "match the level of the threat we all face." "This is not a drill," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. "This epidemic is a threat for every country, rich and poor."
Several Arab ambassadors praised the UAE’s humanitarian initiative to evacuate citizens of friendly countries from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak, and host them in a humanitarian city in the country, to ensure their safety and recovery and provide them treatment.
"We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Wednesday.
The group were travelling through Badakshan province to assist security forces in the area, officials said. A local commander was among the fatalities, provincial governor's spokesman Sanaullah Rohani told the media.
The lockdown is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas while authorities have partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen.
Sharjah Police once again has come to the rescue of residents who were stranded on a highway when their vehicle had a flat tyre.
In Victoria in Australia's southeast, which is still battling outbreaks of the new coronavirus and where social distancing rules allow for gatherings of no more than 20 people, health authorities were urging people not to attend the rallies.