After announcing a flight ban between Pakistan and China, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) withdrew the statement an hour later, saying that it was a misunderstanding.
The gaffe left several people stunned who were either planning to fly to China or were waiting to welcome their loved ones returning from the country.
On Wednesday noon, a WhatsApp statement from the NHS said that the ban was placed to protect Pakistani citizens from the novel virus.
The statement made headlines on social and mainstream media, triggering uncertainty over the flights scheduled between the two countries.
“All the flights from China to Pakistan have been banned. Moreover, all the flights from Pakistan to China are also banned,” the statement quoted Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza.
However, taking a swift U-turn, Dr. Mirza announced an hour later that the air traffic between Pakistan and China will continue as usual.
Turns out that the Media Coordinator of the ministry, Sajid Shah, circulated the news regarding the ban after receiving the orders from higher authorities after a meeting.
I shared it with the media but later learned that a participant who composed the message had misunderstood and sent it to me.
An hour later, Shah shared another notification with the press that denied the previous news.