No decision taken to suspend flights to coronavirus-hit country: Dr Zafar Mirza


The health ministry on Wednesday maintained that flight operations to and from China continue as per normal routine. In a statement, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that no decision has been taken to suspend flights to the coronavirus-hit country. Earlier, it was reported that Pakistan has again halted all passenger flights to and from China amid the coronavirus influx. Passenger flights between the two neighbouring countries were suspended from January 31 to February 2 after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency. Though no confirmed case of the coronavirus has been detected in Pakistan thus far, the government has taken a slew of preventive and precautionary measures.

Dr Mirza said that the authorities, with the help of China, have completed proper planning to prevent an outbreak. Referring to the suspected cases in Pakistan, he said seven individuals have been cleared and their tests have come back negative.

He also said that the government has defined SOPs at all the airports for the people arriving from China and intended to consult with the provinces on the matter. “Our teams will go into the provinces to ensure they are on the same page as the Centre,” he said. Reiterating the government’s decision not to repatriate Pakistani nationals from Wuhan, he said, “It is better for them to stay there to ensure they are monitored and treated.”

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