Bukhari urges expats to follow travel SOPs

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari has advised all the Pakistani expatriates, intending to return home, to get well acquainted with the travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for avoiding any trouble at their arrival to the country.
‘On instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, we have started repatriating the stranded Pakistanis who will be tested and quarantined upon their arrival to the country, so i urge all the overseas Pakistanis to get familiar with the travel SOPs to avoid any inconvenience,’ he said.
As par the present policy, he said every passenger was being screened and tested at the airports and put into quarantine till the clearance of his/her coronavirus test. All those tested negative were being sent to their respective hometown on the condition of two-week home quarantine.
All the positive cases were kept in the quarantine facilities for 14 days and being provided medical care till their recovery from the COVID-19, he added.
The SAPM said around 6,000 Pakistanis would be airlifted in the current week which was limited to 2,000 till the last week. ‘No leader can take such bold and public-friendly steps as Prime Minister Imran Khan did,’ he added.
He said there were over 30,000 Pakistanis who wanted to return Pakistan. ‘We are giving top priority to all those Pakistanis who were stuck in transit, having expired visas or lost their jobs abroad due to coronavirus crisis,’ he added. To a query, Zulfikar Bukhari said the overseas ministry was working out a plan for bringing the dead bodies of expats to Pakistan from other countries. The bodies from Saudi Arabia and the US would be airlifted soon, he added.