1,180 Pakistani nationals stranded in UAE returned


ISLAMABAD: At least 1,180 Pakistani nationals stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were repatriated on Tuesday. An Emirates Airlines flight from Dubai carrying 250 passengers arrived in Peshawar and 200 others from Sharjah arrived in Multan.

Three flights carrying 733 Pakistani citizens reached Karachi and Lahore early morning.

The passengers were screened and shifted to quarantine centres for 7-14 days to test them for the virus that has already affected more than 9,200 people across the country.

Some of the passengers travelling had been deported and were stranded after overseas flight operations were suspended. Civil Aviation Authority sources said more flights will be sent to the UAE to rescue the remaining Pakistanis.

Also, the first charter flight carrying more than 250 British nationals left for London from Islamabad International Airport earlier, a statement by the British High Commission said.

“I am grateful to the Government of Pakistan, Qatar Airways and the Islamabad Airport Authorities for working so hard with my team over the last week in order to make their journeys as smooth as possible,” said British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner.The UK had announced 10 special charter flights from Islamabad and Lahore to repatriate British travellers stuck in Pakistan due to the suspension of international flights. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has decided to set up disinfectant tunnels at all airports of the country in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. In a notification issued by the CAA on Tuesday, the tunnel would be setup at the entrance and departure lounges of the airport. The passage of the passengers through the disinfectant tunnel has been declared mandatory to ensure safety measures and avoid spread of the coronavirus. The airport managers have been advised to provide the required number of the PPE and disinfectant tunnels, according to the number of installation points with immediate effect.

As part of a campaign against the spread of COVID-19, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) disinfected various areas of Islamabad International Airport with chlorinated water spray, last week.

A CAA spokesperson had said that the process of disinfection was carried out on airport roads, drop and pick up lanes, general car parking and concourse halls.

Arrival, departure lounges and all areas of passenger terminal building were washed with chlorinated water, he added. The spokesperson maintained that the authority will disinfect all the airport in the country.

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