Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended the current suspension of domestic flights as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until 23:59 (local time) on Wednesday, May 13. International flights are currently suspended until Friday, May 15. Cargo and chartered flights and those providing relief operations have been exempt from the bans. Pakistan's land borders remain closed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday, May 7, that Pakistan's nationwide lockdown would be gradually relaxed from Saturday, May 9. Small markets and shops have been allowed to reopen, and industries involved in the construction sector are permitted to resume operations. Public transport remains suspended and educational institutions are still closed.
As of Monday, May 11, health authorities have confirmed 30,941 cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan, including 667 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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