KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department raised alarm over the Centre’s new policy regarding the repatriation of overseas Pakistanis on Thursday.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Moeed Yousuf had announced the government’s new policy according to which overseas Pakistanis were being sent home to isolate after having their tests conducted.
The Sindh government had expressed its reservations over the Centre’s policy to send passengers home without obtaining their results. Before this, overseas Pakistanis repatriated to the country were quarantined for 24 hours.
The passengers were allowed to leave for home if their COVID-19 test results came back negative otherwise, they were quarantined for 14 days.
The Sindh Health Department voiced concerns that passengers returning from abroad would meet their relatives and friends which could increase transmission of the virus.
The health department said that by allowing these passengers to go home without obtaining their results first could lead to a surge in the coronavirus cases.
The provincial health department has apprised Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah regarding the situation.
In a recent flight that arrived in Karachi from Saudi Arabia on Thursday, 123 passengers out of 246 tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Sindh government.
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Sindh’s advisor on law Senator Murtaza Wahab said that the federal government wanted to resume flight operations and allow people in without conducting their tests. However, Sindh government took the initiative to conduct tests of passengers who arrived and will now have to trace them to isolate them.
“Out of 246 people who landed in Karachi from Saudi Arabia, 123 people have tested COVID-19 positive. Federal Govt wanted the flights to open & allow people in without tests. Sindh Govt took tests of the passengers & will now have to trace the passengers and isolate them.”-Web Desk