Flight operation to Iran suspended

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Shafaqna Pakistan:Pakistan on Thursday decided to suspend flights to and from Iran at midnight in light of the swelling number of coronavirus cases in the neighbouring country.

Road and rail movement between the two countries had already been suspended earlier in the week.

The decision comes a day after two cases of coronavirus were reported in Pakistan. Both the infected people had recently visited Iran, where the number of people affected by the virus has grown drastically in the past few days.

Aviation Division has decided to cease all direct flights between Pakistan and Iran with effect from midnight between 27 and 28 February 2020 till further notice,” a message from Joint Secretary of Aviation Abdul Sattar Khokhar said.

Meanwhile, a round-the-clock coronavirus control room has been set up at the Aviation Division, confirmed the spokesperson.

The government has decided to continue flights to and from Saudi Arabia for passengers holding iqama or permanent Saudi nationalities. However, people wishing to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah or tourism will not be allowed on the flights.

The decision was taken in light of the Saudi government’s decision to suspend Umrah and tourism operations in light of the growing number of coronavirus affectees all over the world.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) also tweeted about these measures and said that while the national carrier will continue flight operations as usual, people with Umran or tourist visas will not be able to go to Saudi Arabia as “PIA will fully implement instructions given by the Saudi government”.

Earlier, a source from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told DawnNewsTV that a flight coming from Oman was disembarked at the runway at Jinnah International Airport. The passengers were checked for the virus on the runway before they made their way to immigration and out of the airport.

The CAA source further said that the decision to disembark flights and check patients at the runway was taken at a meeting at the Chief Minister House this morning.