Health, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan resumes China flights

First flight from Beijing to Karachi to take off at midnight Sunday, says official, after suspension last week

Aamir Latif   | 02.02.2020
Pakistan resumes China flights

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan on Sunday announced it would immediately resume suspended flight operations to and from coronavirus-hit China.

Islamabad had on Jan. 29 suspended flight operations to and from China amid rising casualties from the novel virus outbreak that the World Health Organization (WHO) promoted to a global health emergency last week.

Flights will resume at 12.00 a.m. local time (1900GMT) Sunday, said Aviation Ministry spokeswoman Duriya Amir.

Air China will make the first flight to land in Karachi, Pakistan on Monday morning after taking off from the Chinese capital Beijing, she told Anadolu Agency.

National carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and two Chinese airlines -- Air China and China Southern Airlines -- will operate a total 12 flights per week between the two countries.

Islamabad also reiterated that it would not repatriate its citizens stranded in China.

Zafar Mirza, the prime minister's health affairs adviser, told local broadcaster Geo News that Pakistan would not evacuate its citizens in China in line with the WHO's recommendations.

Around 30,000 Pakistanis, including a large number of students, are based in China.

Over 500 students currently reside in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that began late last year. So far, at least four Pakistani students in central Wuhan have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

No coronavirus cases have yet been confirmed in Pakistan.

The novel coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, has killed at least 304 people in China, with over 14,000 infected.

Since its outbreak, China has put Wuhan under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat those affected.

Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, Nepal and Canada.

Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Several airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan. 

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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