At least 105 Pakistanis who were flown to Islamabad from the United Arab Emirates on a repatriation flight have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a top official has confirmed.
The 105 passengers were among 209 nationals who were brought home on an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi on April 28, according to the government’s COVID-19 portal.
The people who tested positive were shifted to the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) while 79 others who tested negative were allowed to go home with directions to self-isolate, Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Anwarul Haq told Dawn News on Monday
He said the tests of 27 passengers were being conducted again to verify their status.
The government has been running a repatriation operation through the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and other airlines to bring the stranded Pakistanis back home.
The development comes days after 190 passengers who were brought to Karachi through special flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Colombo tested positive for the virus.
Out of the 190, 92 belonged to Sindh, 56 to Punjab, 24 to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 18 to Balochistan, according to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
A Dawn news report said last week that a total of 259 passengers who were among the 3,554 Pakistanis who came back to Punjab by 22 special flights from various countries during the last two weeks tested positive for the coronavirus.
More than 760 passengers, who returned from the UAE, Qatar, New York and Colombo on April 28 and April 29, had been quarantined to complete their incubation period before undergoing the testing process.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 21,044 COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, with 476 deaths.