Pakistan China flight operations have been restored after the government halted flights to and from China due to the rising spread and death toll from the coronavirus outbreak.
A spokesperson of the Aviation Division made a statement in Islamabad saying that normal Pakistan China flight operations have been restored after they were suspended on 31 January in order to prevent spread of the virus.
The decision was made as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus as a global health emergency.
Read more: WHO declares coronavirus global health emergency.
According to sources, 61 Pakistani’s arrived from China in a direct flight that landed in Islamabad Monday morning. These included 40 Pakistani students that were stranded there.
They were all screened for the virus before being allowed to leave the airport and go home. The Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health (SAPM) Dr Zafar Mirza says Pakistan is fully capable of detecting the virus after it received 1,000 kits from China for detection of coronavirus according to a report by The News.
Dr Zafar Mirza and the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing were both present at the airport. Dr Zafar Mirza made a tweet saying:
At Islamabad airport this morning – received passengers from China along with HE Chinese Ambassador [in Pakistan]. CZ6007 brought 69 passengers including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese. We supervised implementation of ‘Airport SOPs’ & I interviewed passengers,
So far there have been a total of 361 deaths reported in China because of the coronavirus outbreak with thousands infected. The first death outside of China has also been reported in the Philippines.
Although there have been reports of 475 recoveries too according to a New York Times report.
Many countries including Britain, US and Germany have suspended flights to China because of this deadly virus. Russia has reportedly sealed its far eastern border with China as a precaution against coronavirus on Thursday.