All four pilots and crew members of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), who were quarantined in Karachi, have tested negative for novel coronavirus.

In a latest development pertaining to the matter of the PIA staff which was forcefully quarantined by the Health Department of Sindh, the provincial secretary health allowed them to leave after they tested negative for the pandemic.

Four pilots and cabin crew of a ferry flight, which arrived from London, were forcefully quarantined in Karachi in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) had expressed reservations over violation of the precautionary measures and the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The PALPA maintained that it was agreed upon to restart flight operation on humanitarian grounds but the administration has failed to provide a safe environment. The health of the members is our foremost priority, it stressed.

PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Air Marshal Arshad Malik said the national carrier is strictly following the instructions issued by the Pakistan government and it was informed to the officials about the return of the ferry flight from London three hours before its arrival.

“The Health Department of Sindh forcefully quarantined the PIA staff despite directives. Flight operation from Karachi will remain suspended until the directions, issued by the federal government, are followed at the airport,” he added.

On the other hand, new SOPs have been issued to diagnose coronavirus at airports according to which the passengers as well as the flight crew will be quarantined for 24 hours.