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Pakistan halts all international flights until April 4

Decision to suspend flights through April 4 made to stem rising coronavirus cases

Aamir Latif   | 21.03.2020
Pakistan halts all international flights until April 4

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan on Saturday suspended all international flights for two weeks amid a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, an official said.

The flight ban starting Saturday evening will run through April 4, Abdul Sattar Khokar, a spokesman for the official Civil Aviation Authority, said in a statement.

Hours earlier, the government had announced suspension of all international flights operated by the national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), for a week.

“After carefully examining all options, the Government of Pakistan has decided to suspend operation of all international passenger, chartered, and private flights to Pakistan, effective from 21st March 2020 (2000 hrs local time) to 4th April 2020 (2000 hrs local time),” the statement added.  

The move followed government measures aimed at containing coronavirus cases, which just jumped to 536 with three confirmed deaths.

On Twitter late Friday, Taimur Khan Jhagra, health minister of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa privince, confirmed a fourth death in the Dera Ismail khan district.

The federal government did not verify Jhagra's claim.

The railways have already announced the suspension of 42 trains to the southern Sindh and southwestern Balochistan provinces – the two worst hit by coronavirus – starting Sunday.

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