Pakistan suspends flight operations to Iran amid coronavirus epidemic

Pakistan on Monday suspended all flights to and from Iran as the first cases of the pandemic were confirmed in the country from travelers who had been to Iran recently.

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According to the Aviation Division of the federal government, the suspension will come into force at midnight between February 27 (today) and February 28 (tomorrow).

Top officials sprung into action on Thursday with Punjab and Sindh adopting precautionary measures after two coronavirus cases were confirmed in the country.

On Wednesday, Dr Mirza gave the confirmation that two cases were diagnosed in the country minutes after the first case was reported in the southern port city.

“I can confirm first two cases of corona virus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable,” Dr Mirza wrote on Twitter.

He also noted that there was “no need to panic [as] things are under control”. The second patient, identified in Islamabad, was shifted to a quarantine in the capital’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on health Dr Zafar Mirza on Thursday also visited the Pakistan-Iran border at Taftan to review the precautionary measures adopted after the coronavirus outbreak in Iran.

Dr Mirza stated that the federal and the provincial governments were taking adequate measures to handle the situation. He added that the provinces and the federation were confident to tackle the coronavirus.

“Strict screening is being done at all the airports and land routes,” assured Dr Mirza. He also advised the public to be cautious and responsible, adding that they should adopt all the measures suggested by the health ministry.

The special assistant also shared that isolation wards have been set up in hospitals for patients who will be diagnosed with coronavirus. He added that 97% of people diagnosed with the disease have successfully recovered.

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