Pakistan suspends domestic flights as coronavirus cases rise to 990
Pakistan has suspended all domestic flight operations until April 2 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after the country reported nearly 1,000 cases from the COVID-19 infection, authorities said on Wednesday.
The nationwide tally of the COVID-19 patients has soared to 990 with 410 cases in Sindh; 110 in Balochistan; 296 in Punjab; 78 in K-P; 80 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 15 in Islamabad; and one in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, The Express Tribune reported.
The National Disaster Management Authority has said that so far 7 people have died due to the novel coronavirus and 18 recovered.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the country has halted its domestic flights operations.
According to a statement shared on the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority's website, the government has "decided to suspend all types of domestic scheduled/non-scheduled, chartered and private aircraft passenger flight operations with effect from Thursday, March 26, at 6:00am up to April 02, 2020."
Meanwhile, there is complete lockdown in the country and people have been told to remain inside of their homes. They are only allowed to go out in case of emergency.
The government has pledged to increase testing capability and other facilities in hospitals as new medical supplies are expected to start pouring in from China by Friday, according to NDMA chief Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal.
According to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, there are 417,966 confirmed cases across the world, 18,615 deaths and 107,705 recoveries.
On Tuesday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a multi-billion stimulus package to combat the deadly coronavirus and to facilitate poor people in the prevailing circumstances.
The government also suspended all passenger train operations through the country till March 31 and deployed army to assist the civil administration to enforce a nationwide lockdown to contain the virus outbreak.
Khan said 200 billion rupees have been allocated for the labour class to mitigate their sufferings, while the government is also reaching provinces and the business community to extend their assistance.
He said the government was highly conscious of its responsibilities and it was due to various policies and steps that the coronavirus was still contained.