Multan-bound PIA flight from Medina lands with two ‘COVID-19 passengers’     

MULTAN: Two passengers in a Multan-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Medina, the holy city in Saudi Arabia, are suspected of having COVID-19.

“Both the passengers have been shifted to Nishtar Hospital for undergoing COVID-19 tests,” the sources privy to the details said.

They have been identified as Muhammad Azhar and Muhammad Nasir. “One of them belongs to Lodhran while other is the resident of Multan,” they said.

It is pertinent to mention here that on September 23, with the special efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Saudi authorities allowed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate 21 more flights to the kingdom.

According to details, PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arshad Malik had informed the prime minister about the increasing number of passengers and problems being faced by Pakistanis travelling to KSA due to limited flight operations.

He had requested PM Khan to resolve flights issue problem by discussing the matter with Saudi authorities.

Keeping in view the ongoing dilemma, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Overseas Pakistanis, made contact with Saudi Human Resource vice-minister Dr Abdullah bin Nasser via video-link in which he appealed to the ministry to increase the number of flights to allay the grievances of the many people intending to go back to work.

The SAPM also requested to extend visas of Pakistan expatriates up to October 30.

The Saudi government allowed PIA to operate more flights for Saudi Arabia after high-level contact made by the Pakistani foreign office. With the addition of 21 more flights in the system, the national flag carrier passenger capacity has increased to 25,500. All increased flights will leave for Saudi Arabia before September 31.

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