Pakistan bans travellers from 26 countries, including India

Pakistan covid vaccine
The COVID-19 positivity rate in Islamabad dropped to all time low – 1 per cent, while vaccinations in the capital reached 500,000. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: The National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) has revised the inbound air/land travel categories placing strict restrictions on travellers from 26 countries, including India, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Bolivia and others by placing them in “C” category.

According to the Ministry of the National Health Services (NHS), Pakistan introduced three categories “A,” “B,” and “C” to deal with potential carriers of COVID-19 coming into Pakistan from abroad.

According to the revised travel advisory, ban on passengers’ entry from “C” category countries will remain effective until further order and will only be allowed subject to exemption by committee as per procedure.

The passengers belonging to the A category countries are exempted from the mandatory COVID-19 test while those from areas in B category require a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that must be taken within 72 hours of the travel date while countries in C category are restricted and people can travel only under specific NCOC guidelines.

The C category list includes Iran, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iraq, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Namibia, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Sindh seek early vaccine drive

All the district health authorities in Sindh have been directed to expedite the ongoing vaccination drive as the provincial government fears the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the province.

Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho at a meeting with stakeholders observed there was a fear of the fourth wave.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, Dr Pechuho expressed concern that the health situation might get critical again as new coronavirus variants, including the Delta variant, had been reported in the country.

“All stakeholders should be taken on board to expedite COVID-19 vaccination drive, particularly the industrial sector. The government might opt for another lockdown if coronavirus cases increase. To avoid this situation, everyone should get vaccinated against the virus, the statement quoted the health minister as saying in the meeting.

Islamabad positivity drops to 1%

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Islamabad dropped to all time low – 1 per cent, while vaccinations in the capital reached 500,000.

According to District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia the federal capital showed a tremendous progress with regard to vaccination as well as implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19.

Against 3,226 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, only 34 cases of COVID-19 were reported.

Pakistan on Sunday reported 56 deaths and 1,239 new cases of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours. According to the NCOC, the country’s overall positivity rate remained 3.4 per cent.

Since May 25, Pakistan’s positivity rate has not gone beyond 5 per cent, which is a big relief for the health authorities.

In vaccination, so far, the country has administered 10.696 million doses of vaccine while during the last twenty four hours, 200,064 vaccine doses were administered.