An additional 379 Pakistani nationals who returned to Pakistan from various countries on 24 of the special flights from April 28 to May 8 have tested positive for the COVID-19. The special flights had brought 4,344 overseas Pakistanis between April 28 and May 8.
In total, 7,756 Pakistanis have returned home from abroad on 43 flights from April 14 to May 10, as per official records quoted by media reports. Of these, 682 passengers were found to be carrying the virus, however, most of them have already been discharged after recovering at quarantine centres and hospitals. But test results of 760 passengers, who arrived from Dubai in Faisalabad and Multan on May 10, are still awaited. About 188 Pakistani nationals repatriated from Dubai on May 1, of which 63 of them tested positive for the virus.
Despite the number of Coronavirus cases continuing to rise in the country, Pakistan has decided to gradually exit the countrywide lockdown that was imposed from March 9. According to a Pakistani Media, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asserted that the lockdown has badly affected labourers, small businessmen, and ordinary people. Pakistan has reported over 35,300 COVID-19 positive cases, of which 770 have died of the virus, as per the data of John Hopkins University.
"We have decided to do this in phases because many people are facing a lot of difficulties and we cannot continue with it," he said while speaking to the media after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee.
Speaking on the financial emergency that the country is in owing to the COVID-19 crisis, the Pakistani Prime Minister remarked, "We are a developing country and we can't afford to keep the country shut for much longer," he remarked.
"Our exports have fallen. We already had limited funds and we spent it on people's welfare. We can't help all of those affected by the lockdown."
The shutting down of the shops, markets, shopping centres and offices except for emergency service has impacted the country's economy to a large extent further decreasing the revenue collection in the form of taxes.