Pak provinces told to open airports to ease pressure on Islamabad

Islamabad, April 11 (IANS) Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre on COVID-19 directed all provincial governments to reopen their airports to avoid chaos in Islamabad, it was reported on Saturday.

Since the provincial governments closed their airports in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, all flights bringing Pakistanis from abroad were landing at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA), reports Dawn news.
During the last few weeks, a large number of Pakistanis returned from different parts of the world, including Europe, the US and the Middle East.
The Foreign Office informed the capital administration prior to the arrival of the Pakistanis for arrangements to keep the passengers at quarantine centres as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.
Officials said as the number of passengers kept increasing, the number of quarantines increased to 14 with a maximum capacity to keep 600 people.
A few days ago, the capital administration informed Foreign Office that it had turned a maximum number of suitable buildings into quarantine centres.
No more suitable buildings were found for quarantining the Pakistanis returning from abroad.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn news that the provincial airportswill reopen by April 13.
He adding there was no flight arriving in the capital on April 10 and 12. However, three flights are scheduled to land in the capital on April 11 with 200 passengers.
Pakistan has so far confirmed 4,892 coronavirus cases, with 78 deaths.