Over 240 Pakistanis stranded in Qatar arrive


Tariq Saeed


Amid rising fear of fast spread of Covid-19 in the coming days in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that is recording highest number of deaths from the virus, over 240 stranded Pakistanis in Qatar landed at the Bacha Khan International airport Peshawar on Friday. More than 200 people landing at Peshawar’s Bacha Khan Airport through different flights have been tested positive so far.
With addition of more than 300 confirmed cases in the last twenty four hours the number of those tested positive for the Covid-19 has crossed well over 4300 as the province has already recorded over 210 deaths, continued to be the highest among all the provinces. The government has announced to ease down the lack down from today in order to “facilitate economic activities in the province”.
On Friday a Qatar Airways flight No-QR 602, carrying 240 passengers, landed at the Bacha Khan International Airport after it was disinfected and the passengers went through a screening process and later were shifted to the quarantine facility.
It may be recalled that at least 200 more passengers who landed at Peshawar airport through special flights have tested positive for coronavirus, raising alarm among the authorities. According to Civil Aviation Authority focal person, those who had tested positive were among the 1200 passengers who returned recently from abroad via special flights at Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar. “We still await the results of over 700 passengers,” the CAA official said adding the chief medical officer of the CAA and two supervisors were also among the virus-affectees. They, however, said that it would not affect the flight operations at the airport as they had made alternative arrangements.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday announced a further easing of the lockdown in the province to facilitate economic activity. According to an official notification, the provincial government has allowed all shops to remain open for four days a week. Apart from shops selling daily need items, other shops will remain closed from Friday to Sunday. The businesses have been allowed to operate until 4pm.
The KP government advisor on Information Ajmal Wazir told media on Friday the decision regarding inter-district and other forms of transportation will be taken after consultation with the relevant district unions.