Photo is for illustration.
A special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight has repatriated 250 Pakistanis to Peshawar from the United Arab Emirates, Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Asghar said.
The passengers were shifted to hotels and a quarantine centre upon arrival in the country where they will be tested for the coronavirus, he added.
Meanwhile, the PIA has reduced its special flights’ fares by 20 to 30 per cent, extending maximum relief to the nationals stranded in the UAE due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing a meeting in Islamabad, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar AbbasBukhari said airfare for the UAE- bound special flights would come into effect from Saturday (April 25).
He said government top priority is to ensure the repatriation of all those people who stranded in UAE and want to come back to Pakistan.
Special Assistant said government has increased capacity to repatriate 2, 000 people per week to 6,000.
In addition to closing the Smart Gates, thermal screening and nasal swab is being carried out by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) airport medical centre team at Dubai International Airport on passengers arriving from the following countries: Thailand, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, and People ’s Republic of China-Beijing.
"We have been informed deserving community members through phone to book their tickets for upcoming special flights of PIA and the tickets have been issuing through special counters set up at the Terminal 2, Dubai International Airport,” he said.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said that two special flights, one PK-789 with 264 passengers on board has departed for Toronto from Lahore, while another flight PK-781 carrying 242 passengers has flown from Karachi to Toronto.
The initiative aims to enable residents who work in the private sector and wish to return to their home countries to do so during the period of precautionary measures undertaken in the UAE to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983. With the latest 97 virus-related deaths, the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
With the Hajj Committee announcing full refunds of the fees for the ensuing Hajj 2020 season, the pilgrimage dreams of thousands of Muslim faithful are shattered.
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.