Expats to go home if they test negative on arrival.
Special assistant to the prime minister on national security Dr Moeed Yusuf on Monday said the government has scaled up its capacity to repatriate over 11,000 stranded Pakistanis in the next 10 days.
Addressing a Press conference here at the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) in Islamabad, he said the main hurdle in bringing back maximum number of expats was the country’s existing testing and quarantine capacity.
Yusuf said that expatriate Pakistanis would immediately undergo coronavirus test after landing from abroad.
“Coronavirus test of expats will be conducted soon after their landing in the country unlike our previous policy of waiting for 48 hours,” Yusuf said.
“Those who test negative will be allowed to go home while people with positive tests will be quarantined either at government facilities or at their homes,” he added.
Yusuf said about 20,000 stranded Pakistanis have so far been brought back while 110,000 more wanted to return home.
“On the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government is striving to bring back maximum number of stranded Pakistanis at the earliest,” he said and added that Sialkot and Quetta airports would be made functional in coming days.
Yusuf added that from May 12 till May 21 as many as 10,710 overseas Pakistanis would be brought back from 22 countries mainly from the Gulf states.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted the foreign governments and raised the issue of Covid-19 positive passengers with them.
It has been decided that expats would be tested initially in their respective countries and they would be tested again in Pakistan, Yusuf said.
He said social distancing among passengers in the flights from Gulf countries would also be ensured as per the prime minister’s directives.
Meanwhile, the countrywide tally of Covid-19 cases stood at 31,684.
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