"None of the passengers came with visible symptoms"
Pakistani repats were tested at Islamabad International Airport for COVID-19.
At least 141 people had been sent back to Pakistan from Doha and Dubai as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, they were screened by the health authorities in order to prevent any further spread of the Coronavirus.
According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, the government arranged two chartered flights for the expatriated Pakistanis who were stranded at various airports in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The flights were arranged following the partial suspension of international flights from Pakistan.
A ‘Fly Dubai’ flight brought 101 stranded Pakistanis from Abu Dhabi and Dubai while at least 40 passengers arrived on an Emirates flight.
Upon their arrival, the Pakistani repats were tested for COVID-19.
The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination issued a statement which said:
“None of the passengers came with visible symptoms of Coronavirus infection.
“Corona screening test RT PCR was done for all passengers and sent to the laboratory.”
The Islamabad Capital Territory administration stated that all those who had been tested were advised to stay in home quarantine until the test results were released.
The administration revealed that it had arranged quarantine facilities at two private hotels.
The National Disaster Management Authority coordinated the entire response.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, government officials Moeed Yusuf and Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari visited Islamabad Airport to look at the arrangements for testing the repats returning from Doha and Dubai.
Flights were arranged for the stranded citizens despite flight operations being closed for at least two weeks.
The Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement:
“(The) government of Pakistan has decided to suspend operation of all international passenger, chartered and private flights to Pakistan, effective from March 21 till April 4.”
Not only were flight operations suspended but a lockdown has been implemented in certain areas to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Places like Islamabad and Punjab have imposed partial lockdown, however, in Sindh, where the highest number of cases are, a complete lockdown has been imposed.
Citizens have been banned from leaving their homes for non-emergencies and large gatherings are also prohibited.
The Sindh government has requested help from the Army to ensure that the lockdown is implemented.
Markets, shopping centres, public spaces and offices will be shut while medical stores and supermarkets will remain open.