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27.02.2020 17:26 News >> Pakistan Suspends Flights To Iran Amid Coronavirus Fear

Pakistan Suspends Flights To Iran Amid Coronavirus Fear

Move comes day after Pakistan confirmed first coronavirus case.

Pakistan announced Thursday the suspension of flights to and from Iran for an indefinite period amid fears about the spread of the coronavirus.
The move came one day after Pakistan confirmed first two cases of the virus -- one each in Karachi and Islamabad. The patients recently returned from Iran.
"The government has decided to cease all direct flights between Pakistan and Iran with effect from midnight between 27 and 28 February 2020 till further notice," Joint Secretary of Aviation Ministry Abdul Sattar Khokhar told Anadolu Agency.
Stranded citizens of both countries, however, may use a third-country route to return home, he said, adding returning passengers would have to undergo screening at airports.
A round-the-clock coronavirus control room has also been set up at the aviation department to monitor the situation, he added.
Three Iranian airlines operate seven weekly flights from and to Iran, whereas no Pakistani airline operates any flight to the sanctions-hit Islamic Republic.
Pakistan has already closed its border with Iran after Iran reported 12 casualties with 47 confirmed cases.
Pakistani authorities said the border town of Taftan, Balochistan was quarantined for coronavirus screening, while a 100-bed tent hospital was set up in the area for pilgrims coming from Iran, state-run media added.
The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has sounded global alarms, with China, the epicenter, reporting 2,700 deaths from the outbreak, and health experts grappling to find a cure.
Outside mainland China, the coronavirus has spread to more than 45 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
The U.S. has reported 53 confirmed cases; 40 were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was traveling in Asia, three were repatriated from China, and 14 were cases originating within U.S. borders.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency. -



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