Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has extended the suspension of flight operations to China till March 31. The decision was taken as a preventive measure amid the reports of an increase in the coronavirus-related deaths in the neighboring country.
Earlier, the national flag carrier had halted the flights till March 15, which was extended after the virus spread to more countries.
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The novel virus is rapidly increasing in all four bordering countries of Pakistan, with China reporting the highest death toll of over 3000. Iran is second in the list with over 100 casualties due to the deadly disease.
India was the latest victim of the virus, reporting over 30 confirmed cases in six days. Meanwhile, Afghanistan lacks the medical preparedness to detect and fight the infection but has reported tens of suspected cases.
The World Health Organization has appreciated Pakistan’s successful measures to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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Some of the initial decisions were to suspend all border flight operations to the affected countries, including China, Iran, and Afghanistan. All such ties with arch-rival India are already suspended since August last year.
Moreover, the country has installed modern screening machines at all national airports, deployed screening teams at Iran and Afghanistan borders, established quarantine facilities and isolation wards for suspected and confirmed cases.
Note that Pakistan has reported five confirmed cases in a week so far. All of them recently returned from Iran.