Over 60 passengers from the Chinese city of Urumqi arrived in Pakistan on Monday as direct flight operations between the two countries resumed after a brief suspension, Daily Jang reported.
A spokesman of the Aviation Division in a brief statement in Islamabad on Sunday said that Pakistan has decided to resume direct flight operations, which were suspended on January 31 as a preventive measure to control the spread of deadly coronavirus.
Sources told the Urdu daily that the passengers on the plane would be screened for the virus before being allowed to leave the airport.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing were present at the airport to supervise the screening mechanism.
“At Islamabad airport this morning – received passengers from China along with HE Chinese Ambassador [in Pakistan]. CZ6007 brought 69 passengers including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese. We supervised implementation of ‘Airport SOPs’ & I interviewed passengers,” the health adviser tweeted.
Pakistan had on Friday halted flights to and from China with immediate effect as the death toll from a virus outbreak spreading in China mounted and the World Health Organisation called it a global health emergency.
Death toll from deadly virus soars past 360
Some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to China due to the coronavirus outbreak. US, Germany, Britain and other countries have issued warnings about travel to China.
Russia also sealed its remote far-eastern border with China as a precaution on Thursday. Some countries have banned entry for travellers from Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first surfaced.
The global death toll from the deadly coronavirus soared past 360 on Monday as Chinese stocks market crashed on the first day of trade after the annual Lunar Year break in the country.
The fresh toll came a day after China imposed a lockdown on a major city far from the epicentre and the first fatality outside the country was reported in the Philippines.
Authorities in Hubei, the province at the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 56 new fatalities, with one reported in the southwestern megalopolis of Chongqing. That took the toll in China to 361.