KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) special flight carrying 206 Pakistani stranded in Shanghai, China due to coronavirus epidemic, landed at Karachi International Airport on Tuesday.
These Pakistani nationals were stranded in different areas in Shanghai and other cities due to flight cancellations and lockdowns amid the pandemic, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi said in a tweeted.
The passengers upon their arrival appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani High Commission for providing all possible support and assistance during their stay in China.
Sources said that on their arrival, all the passengers and crew members have been shifted to a quarantine center after screening and testing them for the coronavirus. The sources added the passengers will be allowed to leave for their homes if their test results return negative.
It was the second flight during the past two weeks. Earlier, on May 19, a total of 274 Pakistanis, mostly students, returned to Pakistan from Wuhan, the city hit hard by novel COVID-19 in China. Another PIA’s special flight is likely to arrive at Wuhan on June 5 to repatriate next batch of Pakistani students.
Meanwhile, Consul General, Pakistan Consulate Shanghai, Hussain Haider who saw off the passengers said that the return of Pakistanis was the first priority of the government and Pakistan Embassy.
“We are thankful to the Chinese government who took care of our citizens like their own during the epidemic.” The Consulate also reviewed the steps taken at the airport to protect passengers from any harm of the virus.
Earlier, the PIA’s special flight landed at the airport in Shanghai at 3:00 pm local time, carrying Pakistan embassy officials who were granted special permission to come back to China.
It may be noted that PIA was granted special permission by the Chinese concerned authorities to operate special flights to Shanghai to repatriate Pakistani citizens.