June 29, 2020

UAE suspends all flights from Pakistan as cases cross 2 lakh

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The UAE has temporarily suspended all incoming flights from Pakistan until it sets up a special COVID-19 lab to test the travellers from the country, according to media reports. On Monday, Pakistan’s coronavirus infection tally crossed the 2 lakh-mark after 3,557 fresh cases were reported during the last 24 hours.

As the number of coronavirus cases went up in Pakistan, the UAE has decided to not receive passengers coming from Pakistan from June 29 until a special COVID-19 lab is set up to test them. The decision would also apply to transit flights originating from Pakistan, the Express Tribune reported.

The decision by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority came after Dubai-state carrier Emirates already suspended services from Pakistan from June 24. The Emirates suspended passenger flights from Pakistan till July 3 last week. The airline took the decision after 30 Pakistanis who flew on an Emirates flight to Hong Kong on June 22 tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The suspension will be in place till the country establishes a process of laboratory testing for COVID-19 for all departing travellers enroute to the UAE, the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced on Sunday. “This is a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of all arrivals as of Monday, June 29, 2020,” the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said late on Sunday.

The GCAA called on all travellers affected by the decision to communicate with their airline to reschedule their flights, the Khaleej Times reported. Meanwhile, Pakistan on Monday registered 3,557 new coronavirus cases, taking the total tally to 206,512.

These cases include 80,446 in Sindh, 74,778 in Punjab, 25,778 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 12,643 in Islamabad, 10,376 in Balochistan, 1,442 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 1,049 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, according to the Ministry of National Health Services. In the last 24 hours, 49 patients died and with the net death toll reached 4,167 in the country, the ministry said in a statement.

It also said that 95,407 patients so far recovered from the disease, while another 2,437 were in critical condition. Another 23,009 corona tests were carried out during the last 24 hours, taking the number of total tests done so far to 1,262,162.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan started producing its own ventilators. The first batch of ventilators is ready. We will hand over 8 to 10 ventilators to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Three designs are in final stages and will be brought forward soon, he said.

Also read: Vietnam grounds all Pakistani pilots over ‘dubious’ licence concerns

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