With the lockdown being extended for another 2 weeks till May 17, the External Affairs Ministry has instructed state police chiefs to facilitate the travel of over 190 Pakistani nationals stranded in India. The foreign nationals stranded across 10 states have been allowed to exit the country via the Attari-Wagah border. Reports have suggested that the Pakistan High Commission had requested Indian administration to help facilitate their return to their home country.
Reportedly, the Pakistani nationals have been told to reach the Attari-Wagah border by early Tuesday, where formalities for their return would begin at the immigration and border checkpoint. Earlier, a relatively smaller group of Pakistani nationals had returned back to their country from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Most of these 190 nationals temporarily residing across Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi are expected to begin their movement to Punjab's Attari on Saturday or Sunday. Additional Secretary at the External Affairs Ministry has informed the state governments that all returning Pakistani nationals shall be screened as per international norms and existing provisions of the Indian government, adding that only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed.
Pakistan on Friday had reported 882 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of infections in the country to 17,699 with 408 deaths, the health ministry said. The Ministry of National Health Services said 23 deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 408. Punjab reported 6,340 cases, Sindh 6,675, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 2,799, Balochistan 1,136, Islamabad 343, Gilgit-Baltistan 340 and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir reported 66 cases, according to the latest data released by the ministry.
Among the high profile politicians tested positive for the deadly virus include Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, apart from Governor of Pakistan's southern Sindh province Imran Ismail, a very close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The health ministry said that so far 182,131 tests had been conducted, including 7,971 on April 30.