COVID-19: Maximum number of stranded Pakistanis have registered in the UAE, says a top official

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Dubai: Maximum number of stranded Pakistanis are currently living the UAE, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.

Out of around 100,000 stranded Pakistanis who have so far registered with the country’s diplomatic missions around the world, maximum number of 69,695 Pakistanis are stranded in the UAE.

Pakistanis stranded in 88 countries

During a media briefing, Dr Moaeed Yousuf, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Division, revealed that there were over 100,000 stranded Pakistanis in 88 countries and efforts were being made to bring them back at the earliest.

90 per cent stranded in Gulf countries

He, however, said that 90 per cent of stranded Pakistanis are in Gulf states including 69,695 in the UAE, 15,594 in Saudi Arabia and 5,500 in Qatar and others are in different countries. He also advised all overseas Pakistanis who want to come back home to register with the diplomatic missions so that appropriate travel arrangements could be made. “Those who have not registered themselves with Pakistani embassies, I suggest them to get themselves registered as embassies have been preparing priority list of those who should be sent at the earliest,” he said.

At least 48-hour quarantine

Dr Yusuf said that all overseas Pakistanis who are being brought back, would have to stay in quarantine for at least 48-hour after which they would be tested for Covid-19.

As result of the test can take up to 30 hours, it will be decided only after that if they [passengers] have to stay at quarantine centre more or can join their families, reported Dawn news.

“Another concern is that the positive cases among passengers who were repatriated since April 10, were more than our expectations so passengers are being kept at quarantine centres for more time,” he said. Currently, he added, it is not possible to bring more than 7,500 passengers per week due to limited quarantine facilities. However, he said the capacity would be increased to 15,000 passengers every week as more quarantine facilities are being set up.

Dr Yusuf said the government has allowed the PIA to operate special flights because the foreign airlines were asking for much higher fares.

Information advice

He also advised overseas Pakistanis to visit the government website for the flight information and follow the instructions given by the Pakistani diplomatic missions in the respective countries.

Special flights operation to repatriate stranded Pakistanis from the UAE had started on April 18 and so far more than 4,000 passengers have flown back home.

At least 21 flights are scheduled to operate from May 1 to May 10 to repatriate more than 4600 Pakistanis from the UAE. More than 1200 flew back home on May 1 on seven special flights including five PIA flights and two flights operated by the UAE airlines.

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