Over 75,000 Pak nationals repatriated due to COVID-19: Official

Over 75,000 stranded Pakistani nationals had been repatriated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official said here.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Moeed Yusuf told reporters on Wednesday that that all Pakistanis stranded abroad will be brought back in a month, reports Xinhua news agency.

About 45,000 Pakistanis will be repatriated every week from June 20, and nearly 250 flights will be operated every week, Yusuf said, adding eight airports are operational across the country for the repatriation purpose.

He said a new policy has been formulated and now passengers will be tested at airports and allowed to go home if they do not have signs of COVID-19.

Yusuf said all returning Pakistanis will be bound for 14-day self-quarantine at their homes while positive cases will be treated in accordance with the health protocol.

He said 25 per cent of the country’s air space has been reopened for the repatriation flights.

All passengers can now buy tickets, while special flights will be operated where the airspace has not yet been opened, he added.

The Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said earlier that a special cell namely the Crisis Management Unit is working at the Foreign Ministry round the clock with a dedicated team to monitor the phased repatriation of Pakistanis across the globe in the wake of the rising threat of COVID-19.

Pakistan has so far reported a total of 154,760 COVID-19 cases, with 3,093 deaths.