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Saudi Arabia allows Pakistan to evacuate its stranded citizens till Mar 18

Saudi Arabia allows Pakistan to evacuate its stranded citizens till Mar 18
March 15, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Saudi Arabia government on Sunday gave further two-days to Pakistan International Airline (PIA) for evacuating the Umrah pilgrims. According to the details garnered, Saudi Arabia authorities have allowed Pakistan to evacuate its citizens stranded in Jeddah and Madina due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The PIA spokesperson said that the national airlines will continue the operation till March 18 to fly back all the Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the Saudi civial aviation suspended all the commercial international flights for two weeks in response to the coronavirus. The PIA has also been notified of flights closure. "The kingdom’s government decided to suspend international flights for two weeks (starting from Sunday March 15th) as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of #CoronaVirus," the foreign ministry tweeted. The halt applies to all but "exceptional cases," the official Saudi Press Agency said, quoting an official source in the interior ministry. Citizens and expatriates who are unable to return due to the suspension or who go into a quarantine after returning will be granted an "exceptional official holiday," it added. The schedule of PIA flights was also changed after the Saudi government banned flights, according to spokesman PIA. On March 16, two flights from Lahore to Riyadh PK 755 and PK 756 and two other flights PK-727 and PK-728 from Islamabad to Riyadh were canceled. Two-way flights PK-245 and PK-246 from Islamabad to Dammam were canceled. Two-way flights from Karachi to Dammam PK-242, another flight from Karachi-Lahore PK-398 have also been canceled. According to the PIA spokesman, the company is treating all aircraft disinfection internationally after every flight of the national airline, apologizing to passengers for the problem, but caution is needed in this emergency. Saudi Arabia has recorded cases of the 104 coronavirus after surfacing new 17 cases so far, but no deaths, according to the health ministry.