PESHAWAR: In an alarming development, at least 30 passengers arriving from Doha through a private airline flight on Sunday at the Peshawar international airport tested positive after coronavirus tests.
The rapid tests of the passengers, who arrived earlier from Doha, Qatar, were carried out at the airport as soon as they landed at the airport where their coronavirus reports were confirmed to be positive.
All the passengers were been shifted to the local hospitals for quarantine facility with the help of district authorities, the airport officials said.
The emergence of such a large number of new coronavirus cases from a single flight show that although the fourth wave of coronavirus is subsiding in Pakistan, but the challenge is not over. The authorities have not yet taken any action on flights arriving from abroad. However, under the existing coronavirus standard operating procedures, those testing positive will have to be kept under quarantine until their tests return negative.
The issue at Peshawar Airport came two days after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) extended the coronavirus restrictions imposed on inbound flights till October 31. Earlier these restrictions were extended to September 30, but later on, keeping in view the corona situation, these were extended further.
The CAA said through a notification that all Pakistanis, whose return to Pakistan from Category-C countries is scheduled till October 31, may travel to Pakistan without grant of a special exemption. Such passengers need to possess a valid negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to the commencement of their travel to Pakistan.
The countries in Category-C include Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Mongolia, Mexico, The Philippines, Slovenia, South Africa, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago. In an earlier travel advisory, the CAA had said all inbound passengers of age six years and above will be required to possess a valid negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.
During the last 24 hours, the novel coronavirus claimed 42 more lives in Pakistan, raising the nationwide death toll to 27,566. According to the NCOC, 1,780 new infections were reported after 44,712 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.