Emirates suspends flights from Pakistan after passengers test positive for coronavirus

Dubai’s Emirates is operating limited services due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 24 June 2020

Emirates suspends flights from Pakistan after passengers test positive for coronavirus

  • Dubai carrier says temporary suspension takes effective June 24

DUBAI: Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, has suspended flights from Pakistan after passengers tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong, it said on Wednesday.
The Dubai carrier, which is operating limited services due to the coronavirus pandemic, said the temporary suspension was effective June 24.
“We are co-ordinating closely with the various authorities and will review and implement any required additional measures to satisfy all parties before we resume services from Pakistan,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.
The airline will continue to operate flights to Pakistan, she said.
The rate of COVID-19 cases has been rising fast in Pakistan, a country of 207 million people, but Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out a nationwide lockdown. It has recorded 3,755 deaths and 188,926 infections.
This week, South Korea’s government temporarily banned most people from Pakistan and Bangladesh from entering after it recorded increases in coronavirus cases from those countries.
It has also halted non-scheduled flights between South Korea and the two countries, though diplomats and travel for urgent business purposes are exempted from the entry suspension.
Ten players of Pakistan’s cricket team supposed to take part in an upcoming series in England tested positive this week for COVID-19.


Saudi Arabia’s 6-point plan to jumpstart global economy

Updated 07 July 2020

Saudi Arabia’s 6-point plan to jumpstart global economy

  • Policy recommendations to G20 aim to counter effects of pandemic

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as president of the G20 group of nations, has unveiled a six-point business plan to jump start the global economy out of the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yousef Al-Benyan, the chairman of the B20 business group within the G20, told a webinar from Riyadh that the response to the pandemic -— including the injection of $5 trillion into the global economy — had been “reassuring.”

But he warned that the leading economies of the world had to continue to work together to mitigate the effects of global lockdowns and to address the possibility of a “second wave” of the disease.

“Cooperation and collaboration between governments, global governance institutions and businesses is vital for an effective and timely resolution of this multi-dimensional contagion transcending borders,” Al-Benyan said.

“The B20 is strongly of the view there is no alternative to global cooperation, collaboration and consensus to tide over a multi-dimensional and systemic crisis,” he added.

The six-point plan, contained in a special report to the G20 leadership with input from 750 global business leaders, sets out a series of policy recommendations to counter the effects of the disease which threaten to spark the deepest economic recession in nearly a century.

The document advocates policies to build health resilience, safeguard human capital, and prevent financial instability.

It also promotes measures to free up global supply chains, revive productive economic sectors, and digitize the world economy “responsibly and inclusively.”

In a media question-and-answer session to launch the report, Al-Benyan said that among the top priorities for business leaders were the search for a vaccine against the virus that has killed more than half-a-million people around the world, and the need to reopen global trade routes slammed shut by economic lockdowns.

He said that the G20 response had been speedy and proactive, especially in comparison with the global financial crisis of 2009, but he said that more needed to be done, especially to face the possibility that the disease might surge again. “Now is not the time to celebrate,” he warned.

“Multilateral institutions and mechanisms must be positively leveraged by governments to serve their societies and must be enhanced wherever necessary during and after the pandemic,” he said, highlighting the role of the World Health Organization, the UN and the International Monetary Fund, which have come under attack from some world leaders during the pandemic.

Al-Benyan said that policy responses to the pandemic had been “designed according to each country’s requirements.”

Separately, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority said that it was “too early” to say if the Kingdom’s economy would experience a sharp “V-shape” recovery from pandemic recession.