Flight set for HK people in Pakistan

April 29, 2020

The first batch of about 300 Hong Kong residents stranded in Pakistan will take a chartered flight tentatively scheduled to leave Islamabad on the morning of April 30 and arrive in Hong Kong in the afternoon.


In a statement today, the Security Bureau said the returnees upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport will proceed to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at AsiaWorld-Expo by coach for compulsory COVID-19 testing before they are transferred to the quarantine centre at Chun Yeung Estate for a 14-day quarantine.


In view of the COVID-19 situation, the Pakistan Government banned all international flight movements since late March, resulting in Hong Kong residents there being unable to return to Hong Kong through normal means.


The Immigration Department has received requests for assistance from Hong Kong residents stranded there and as at yesterday, it has successfully contacted about 1,600 of them.


Due to the large number of people requesting assistance and having regard to the returnees' quarantine arrangements, the capacities for testing, and the quarantine and treatment facilities, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government must adopt a phased approach in assisting their return, subject to the circumstances.


The first batch of Hong Kong residents on the chartered flight are those staying in Islamabad and its surrounding areas. They also include people with special needs such as those with illnesses and pregnant women.


The cost of taking the chartered flight is about $6,000 per person and is borne by the user.


The Security Bureau said the chartered flight could not have been arranged smoothly without the staunch support of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (OCMFA) and the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, as well as the full co-operation rendered by the Pakistan Government and the Consulate General of Pakistan in Hong Kong.


The bureau said the Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to liaise with the residents still in Pakistan and assist in their return.


Meanwhile, a flight will arrive from Doha this afternoon carrying about 170 Hong Kong residents returning from Pakistan themselves.


The bureau added that upon their arrival in Hong Kong, they will be arranged to leave deep throat saliva samples at the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre before being admitted to the quarantine centre at Chun Yeung Estate for a 14-day quarantine.


Apart from Pakistan, the Indian Government has also since late March banned all international flight movements. As at yesterday, the Immigration Department has successfully contacted about 3,100 Hong Kong residents stranded there who sought assistance to return home.


The Hong Kong SAR Government is maintaining close contact with the OCMFA, the Chinese Embassy in India and the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong, while also contacting several airlines to arrange return flights to Hong Kong.

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