The aviation division has enforced a stringent version of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) regarding international arrivals at all airports to curb the spread of Coronavirus in Pakistan.
According to an official notification, the SOPs, which come into effect immediately, will be applicable to passengers and flight crew alike.
As per the latest SOPs, both passengers and crew members will be screened upon arrival at an airport and transferred to a dedicated isolation center later where they will be quarantined for the next 24 hours.
The swab test of everyone will be taken after 24 hours. Anyone with a positive result will be shifted to a hospital for further treatment. While those with the negative results will be released from the isolation center with orders for mandatory self-quarantine for the next 2 weeks.
Complete information of both passengers and crew will be taken before release. Law enforcement agencies will be authorized to follow up to ensure the released individuals are adhering to self-isolation orders.
PIA Halts Operations in Karachi
On Sunday, the national flag carrier announced to suspend flight operations at Karachi after the Sindh health department tried to forcibly quarantine its pilots based on spurious reports alleging that PIA’s pilots in a flight from the UK have contracted Coronavirus.
PIA’s spokesperson Abdullah Khan rejected the claims and said:
The PIA is strictly abiding by the instructions issued by the Government of Pakistan. The instructions include measures related to disinfecting the airplane as well as the crew’s health and safety.
The PIA crew is in isolation at a hotel and is awaiting the results of the swab test. The operations of PIA from Karachi will remain suspended until further notice, said PIA spokesperson.
PALPA Urges Pilots Not to Work
Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) has advised pilots not to take part in the ongoing flight operations of repatriating stranded Pakistanis across the world.
PALPA is of the view that the lives of pilots and crew are at risk by flying to the countries most affected by the COVID-19.