One of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, Emirates, has suspended flights from Pakistan after passengers tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong.
The decision was taken after 26 people on board a flight from Pakistan to Hong Kong via Dubai were found to have the virus.
A spokeswoman for the airline said: “Following the announcement of positive Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong relating to a number of passengers on our flights who began their journeys in Pakistan, Emirates has taken the decision to temporarily suspend passenger services from Pakistan, from 24 June.
“We are co-ordinating closely with the various authorities and will review and implement any required additional measures to satisfy all parties before we resume services from Pakistan.”
According to her, the health and safety of the airline’s crew, customers and communities remains top priority.
The airline has put in place “a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey on the ground and in the air, to minimise the risk of infection spread”, she said.
She added: “We remain committed to serving our customers in Pakistan and are working hard to resume services as soon as possible.”
The rate of COVID-19 cases has been rising fast in Pakistan, a country of 207 million people, but Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out a nationwide lockdown. It has recorded 3,755 deaths and 188,926 infections.
This week, South Korea’s government temporarily banned most people from Pakistan and Bangladesh from entering after it recorded increases in coronavirus cases from those countries.