Monday Mar 09, 2020
KARACHI: Pakistan has yet to issue a travel advisory for foreign players coming to the country for events amidst a global coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 3,600 people around the world, reported The News on Monday.
On Sunday, one more case of the virus was reported from Karachi, taking the number of positive cases in the country to seven.
According to The News, 17 foreign players are scheduled to be in Islamabad from April 3-7 to participate in the CAS International Squash Championship. The players participating in the event are coming from countries with confirmed coronavirus cases, such as Germany (795 cases), Japan (455 cases), Austria (104 cases), Malaysia (93 cases), Egypt (48 cases), and Portugal (21 cases).
Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui told The News the country has not issued a travel advisory in this regard. “No, we have not circulated any travel advisory yet. We are monitoring the situation and it will be decided in case of any development,” Farooqui said.
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has authorised the government of Pakistan to decide about the international squash event. “At this stage, it is down to the government to decide whether sporting events should happen [or not],” Tour Assistant PSA Megan Somers told The News.
It is pertinent to mention here that four players from Hong Kong are also participating in this event.
Several international squash events have been either cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic with many countries issuing travel advisories in this regard.
India on March 3 suspended all visas issued to the citizens of Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan who were to participate in the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun scheduled in New Delhi from March 15-26. It also suspended visas of all those who travelled to the above-mentioned countries or China after February 1.
Coronavirus has spread to more than 90 countries around the world with more than 100,000 affected. The virus has killed an estimated 3,600 people since it began spreading from the wet markets in Wuhan, China, to other parts of the world.