Pak consul general
Pakistan Consul General in Dubai Ahmed Amjad Ali (left) says all passengers are tested for COVID-19 at the airport before boarding the plane. Image Credit:

Dubai: At least 115 bodies of Pakistani expatriates who died in the UAE have been repatriated to their country on special flights during the last 40 days, says a senior diplomat in Dubai.

This is in addition of people who died of coronavirus and buried in the UAE because the local authorities do not allow repatriation of COVID-19 infected bodied, added Pakistan Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali. He, however, did not reveal the number of Pakistanis killed due to COVID-19. He said there are still more than a dozen bodies waiting to repatriated to Pakistan.

Three Pakistanis dies every day

An average of three Pakistanis have lost their lives in non-COVID -19 cases every day since the special repatriation flights started on April 18.

Consul General Ali said that repatriation mission was being carried out successfully as more than 11,500 stranded Pakistanis have flown back home since the special flight operation started on April 18. This included around 8,000 passengers who flew on 39 special flights operated by the PIA while rest of them were carried by the UAE-based airlines.

More special flights

“We are trying our best to expedite the repatriation process by requesting more special flights as we still have around 57,000 people who have registered with us to go back home,” he revealed.

Consul General Ali once again warned the stranded Pakistani to beware of fake travel agents who claim to have tickets for special repatriation flights.

Beware of fake agents

He also warned people not to transfer money on anyone’s account. “I have received complaints that some people have received calls from people claiming to be either PIA or the consulate staff asking the passengers to transfer money in their accounts to buy tickets,” he said. “This is all fraud as our staff do not ask for money to be transferred to their personal accounts,” he made it clear.

He also clarified that no travel agent is allowed to sell tickets for the PIA’s special flights.

Quarantine rules

Only PIA is authorised to sell tickets

“I want to make it clear again that only PIA is authorised to sell tickets for the special repatriation flights at their dedicated counters. A consulate staff call the registered people and direct them to go to the PIA counter to buy the ticket. Please do not transfer money to anyone’s bank account,” Consul General Ali reiterated.

Tickets for PIA flights are booked following the recommendations of the Pakistani missions, which have prepared lists of stranded Pakistanis and select passengers based on the set priority.

Those who are compelled to travel due to emergencies including pregnant women and patients and those who have lost jobs are given priority, followed by job seekers who came on visit visas and those who are on unpaid leaves due to COVID-19 pandemic.