Government of Pakistan has decided to implement new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for airports at international arrivals in order to improve measures for containing coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday.
The new directives will be applicable on all passengers and flight crew with immediate effect.
Under the SOPs, all persons will be screened as per practice upon arrival of international flights. It also read, “The swab sample shall not, however, be collected at the airport.”
Moreover, the passengers and flight crew members will be quarantined for 24 hours at a location decided by the authorities.
After 24 hours, swabs sample will be collected for the COVID-19 test at the designated facility while the passengers and flight crew will be bound to wait at the same location until the completion of the laboratory test process.
A person tested positive for COVID-19 will stay at the quarantine or other relevant location, whereas, those with the negative test will be allowed to leave with strict instructions and guidance for home quarantine.
The airport authorities will keep data of all passengers and flight crew including their mobile numbers for record and further follow-up, read the order issued by senior joint secretary of the aviation division.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s tally of coronavirus cases has jumped above 3,000 including 18 patients declared critical after the confirmation of 179 new infections during the last 24 hours.
The country has witnessed an increase in COVID-19 cases as the current number of infections reached to 3,059 on Sunday evening.
1,319 confirmed cases are from Punjab, 881 in Sindh out of the overall figure of COVID-19 patients across the country. 372 patients are kept under isolation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 206 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 189 in Balochistan, 78 in federal capital Islamabad and 14 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
According to the national dashboard on coronavirus pandemic, 170 patients have recovered from the disease so far, whereas, 45 patients lost their lives and 18 remained in critical condition.