Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Flight operation to Iran suspended amid virus alert

ISLAMABAD: A day after official confirmation of two cases of new coronavirus in the country, Pakistan on Thursday suspended flight operation to and from Iran as both the affected persons had travelled to Iran during the past two weeks.

Moreover, at least seven suspected patients have been admitted to hospitals in differ-ent cities.

Executive Director (ED) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Maj Gen Dr Aamer Ikramsays that next 10 days are most crucial in terms of virus spread in Pakistan.

The government has decided to prepare a list of all pilgrims who arrived in the country from Iran during the last fortnight and to test them for the deadly virus.

In another move, a health emergency control room has been established in the Aviation Division which will operate round the clock and also on closed holidays.

According to an official announcement, `Aviation Division has decided to cease all direct flights between Pakistan and Iran with effect from midnight between Feb 27 and Feb 28, 2020 till further notice.

Secretary of the Aviation Division Hassan Nasir Jamy told media persons that passengers arriving from other than the affected countries would be scanned at airports. He said an isolation room had already been established at Islamabad International Airport.

Road and rail traffic between Iran and Pakistan has already been suspended earlier this week due to spread of coronavirus in the neighbouring country.

NIH ED Dr Ikram, while talking to Dawn, said that Iran had delayed the announcement of spread of coronavirus, maybe because of elections, due to which the virus had reached Pakistan from Iran.

`Now next 10 days are the most crucial and if no fresh case is confirmed our major focus will be again on borders so that virus would not enter Pakistan. Both patients, who have been confirmed with the virus and have been kept in Karachi and Islamabad, are improving which is a good sign,` he said.

Replying to a question, Dr Ikram said that both patients had arrived Pakistan by air and as at that time the incubation period of the virus was not completed, they did not have any symptoms of the disease.

`Now we have decided to prepare a list of around 280 passengers who have arrived from Iran during the last fortnight and they will be tested for the virus.

We have designated the Haj Complex as quarantine for suspects and 300 suspects can be kept there at the same time,` he said.

Media Coordinator of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Dr Waseem Khawaja told Dawn that due to panic on Thursday, a large number of people reached the hospital claiming that they could be infected with the virus. `However we have admitted only three suspects,` he said.

Moreover, a suspected coronavirus patient arrived at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital where he was kept in the High Dependency Unit.

In Faisalabad, another suspected coronavirus patient was brought to the Allied Hospital.

In Layyah two suspected patients were screened at the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Kot Sultan, and then shifted to Nishtar Hospital, Multan, with their relatives for further tests.

Meanwhile The Senate Standing Committee on Interior, during a meeting presided over by its chair-man Rehman Malik, directed the authorities to formulate a strategy to combat the deadly disease.

Senator Malik expressed concern over inadequate arrangements at airports, seaports, other entry points for screening suspected patients.

A meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services was informed that the health ministry was monitoring the screening process at all entry points, particularly at Pak-Iran border and international airports.

Meanwhile, the Gilgit Baltistan government has declared medical emergency across the region to deal with the coronavirus scare. All government and private educational institutions will remain close till February 29 while Karakoram International University`s main campus in Gilgit and its campuses in Hunza, Diamer, and Ghizer will remain closed till March 2.

Screening system has been installed at the entry points of the region, including Gilgit and Skardu airports, to detect coronavirus patients.

A special medical cell has been established to keep check on coronavirus.

Sindh govt unhappy Meanwhile, a source privy to the discussion at a meeting of the task force set up by the Sindh chief minister told Dawn that the provincial government had showed resentment over the screening process being carried out by the federal government at airports, which had failed `to prove effective.

`The Sindh government has decided to ask Islamabad to tal(e the provincial and local administrations on board in the process of screening at the airports,` the source said.

`The provincial government believes that the callous and irresponsible approach of the federal agencies allowed one of the suspected cases of coronavirus to skip all due process, the source said.

He said the Sindh government wanted to deploy its resources both in terms of gear and human resources at the airports along with the federal agencies with its own standard to clear or suspect the individuals.

Muhammad Saleem from Faisalabad, Fareedullah Chaudhry from Layyah, Jamil Nagri from Skardu and Imran Ayub from Karachi also contributed to this report ISLAMABAD: A day after official confirmation of two cases of new coronavirus in the country, Pakistan on Thursday suspended flight operation to and from Iran as both the affected persons had travelled to Iran during the past two weeks.

Moreover, at least seven suspected patients have been admitted to hospitals in differ-ent cities.

Executive Director (ED) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Maj Gen Dr Aamer Ikramsays that next 10 days are most crucial in terms of virus spread in Pakistan.

The government has decided to prepare a list of all pilgrims who arrived in the country from Iran during the last fortnight and to test them for the deadly virus.

In another move, a health emergency control room has been established in the Aviation Division which will operate round the clock and also on closed holidays.

According to an official announcement, `Aviation Division has decided to cease all direct flights between Pakistan and Iran with effect from midnight between Feb 27 and Feb 28, 2020 till further notice.

Secretary of the Aviation Division Hassan Nasir Jamy told media persons that passengers arriving from other than the affected countries would be scanned at airports. He said an isolation room had already been established at Islamabad International Airport.

Road and rail traffic between Iran and Pakistan hasalready been suspended earlier this week due to spread of coronavirus in the neighbouring country.

NIH ED Dr Ikram, while talking to Dawn, said that Iran had delayed the announcement of spread of coronavirus, maybe because of elections, due to which the virus had reached Pakistan from Iran.

`Now next 10 days are the most crucial and if no fresh case is confirmed our major focus will be again on borders so that virus would not enter Pakistan. Both patients, who have been confirmed with the virus and have been kept in Karachi and Islamabad, are improving which is a good sign,` he said.

Replying to a question, Dr Ikram said that both patients had arrived Pakistan by air and as at that time the incubation period of the virus was not completed, they did not have any symptoms of the disease.

`Now we have decided to prepare a list of around 280 passengers who have arrived from Iran during the last fortnight and they will be tested for the virus.

We have designated the Haj Complex as quarantine for suspects and 300 suspects can be kept there at the same time,` he said.

Media Coordinator of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Dr Waseem Khawaja told Dawn that due to panic on Thursday, a large number of people reached the hospital claiming that they could be infected with the virus. `However we have admitted only three suspects,` he said.

Moreover, a suspected coronavirus patient arrived at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital where he was kept in the High Dependency Unit.

In Faisalabad, another suspected coronavirus patient was brought to the Allied Hospital.

In Layyah two suspected patients were screened at the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Kot Sultan, and then shifted to Nishtar Hospital, Multan, with their relatives for further tests.

Meanwhile The Senate Standing Committee on Interior, during a meeting presided over by its chair-man Rehman Malik, directed the authorities to formulate a strategy to combat the deadly disease.

Senator Malik expressed concern over inadequate arrangements at airports, seaports, other entry points for screening suspected patients.

A meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on National Health Services was informed that the health ministry was monitoring the screening process at all entry points, particularly at Pak-Iran border and international airports.

Meanwhile, the Gilgit Baltistan government has declared medical emergency across the region to deal with the coronavirus scare. All government and private educational institutions will remain close till February 29 while Karakoram International University`s main campus in Gilgit and its campuses in Hunza, Diamer, and Ghizer will remain closed till March 2.

Screening system has been installed at the entry points of the region, including Gilgit and Skardu airports, to detect coronavirus patients.

A special medical cell has been established to keep check on coronavirus.

Sindh govt unhappy Meanwhile, a source privy to the discussion at a meeting of the task force set up by the Sindh chief minister told Dawn that the provincial government had showed resentment over the screening process being carried out by the federal government at airports, which had failed `to prove effective.

`The provincial government believes that the callous and irresponsible approach of the federal agencies allowed one of the suspected cases of coronavirus to skip all due process, the source said.

He said the Sindh government wanted to deploy its resources both in terms of gear and human resources at the airports along with the federal agencies with its own standard to clear or suspect the individuals.

Source: Dawn

About the author

Leave a Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket