Monday, 10 May, 2021

Pakistan cuts inbound international flights by 80%

A health worker inoculates a woman with Sinopharm, a coronavirus vaccine, in Lahore, Pakistan on April 28. Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

By Sophia Saifi, Islamabad, Pakistan, May 1 (CNN) - Pakistan is drastically reducing the number of international flights allowed in the country in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the National Command and Operation Centre on Coronavirus (NCOC) announced Saturday.

The NCOC said 80 per cent of incoming international flights between May 5 and May 20 will be cancelled, with inbound air traffic operating at 20 per cent capacity.

The decision was made “in view of prevailing global and regional disease trends” and considers the “current disease situation in the country,” according to the statement.

According to the Ministry of Health, Pakistan currently has 90,553 actives cases of Covid-19 with 146 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.

Overall, Pakistan has reported more than 820,000 coronavirus cases, including more than 17,000 deaths.

The reduction in flights will mitigate “extreme stress on the critical care system," NCOC said.

Anyone arriving in Pakistan will need a negative PCR test that is at most 72 hours old and all negative cases will undergo 10 days of self-quarantine at home.

The revised air travel plan will be effective at midnight May 4 and reassessed on May 18.