NCOC recommends curtailing inbound flights from May 5 to 20 amid worsening coronavirus situation

Published April 29, 2021
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday decided to reduce inbound flights to Pakistan from May 5 to May 20 amid the country's worsening coronavirus situation. — AFP/File
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday decided to reduce inbound flights to Pakistan from May 5 to May 20 amid the country's worsening coronavirus situation. — AFP/File

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday recommended the curtailing of inbound flights to Pakistan from May 5 to May 20 amid the country's worsening coronavirus situation.

The forum in its meeting chaired by Minister for Development and Planning Asad Umar decided to review the restrictions on May 18.

A statement issued after the meeting said detailed instructions regarding the reduction in flights would be provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

During its meeting, the NCOC also reviewed the production and supply of oxygen, granting permission to import 6,000 metric tonnes of oxygen and 5,000 oxygen cylinders to shore up healthcare facilities in the country.

Besides this, the NCOC also allowed the import of 20 cryogenic tanks and decided to shut down the scrap industry of Misri Shah so oxygen could be diverted to the healthcare sector instead.

The meeting also decided that vaccination of people aged between 40 and 49 will begin from May 3.

The NCOC also announced a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" strategy from May 8 to May 16, aimed at controlling the movement of people, including during the Eidul Fitr holidays.

According to the NCOC:

  • Eid holidays will be from May 10 to May 15.
  • Comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be issued for Youm-e-Ali, Aitekaf, Shab-e-Qadar, Juma-tul-Wida, and Eid prayers by May 1.
  • All markets, businesses, and shops will remain closed except for essential services.
  • Chaand Raat bazaars will be banned.
  • There will be a complete ban on tourism and routes leading to tourist destinations will be closed.
  • Inter-provincial, inter-city, and intra-city public transport will be banned; private vehicles to operate with 50 per cent capacity.
  • Media channels will broadcast special Eid Holiday packages.

Last week, Pakistan introduced a stricter travel ban on 23 countries and extended travel restrictions till April 30.

A fresh notification issued by the CAA containing the list of countries categorised as A, B and C was shared by the regulator with 20 countries placed in category A. It also increased the number of countries in category C to 23 with India added to the list.

According to a previous notification effective from March 23, there will be a complete ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from category C countries, including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided to Pakistani passport and Nicop holders.

The counties included in category C were South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela and India.

The CAA said travellers from 20 countries falling in category A did not require a Covid-19 test before entry into Pakistan. All countries not specified in category A and C fall in category B.

The CAA said travellers from countries not specified in category A required a Covid-19 PCR test before commencement of travel to Pakistan (maximum 72 hours old).

Pakistan has reported 5,480 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours as well as 150 fatalities. The country's caseload has risen to 815,711 while its death toll stands at 17,680.

Opinion

Civil liberties
23 Oct 2021

Civil liberties

The late I.A. Rehman is esteemed on both sides of the border.
The Hamza factor
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The Hamza factor

A new story is quietly unfolding inside the PML-N and there may yet be a surprise twist.
What should Imran Khan do?
Updated 23 Oct 2021

What should Imran Khan do?

Making a mishmash of religion and politics won’t turn Pakistan into a welfare state. Here’s what can.
Afghan health crises
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Afghan health crises

The condition and prospects of Afghanistan’s health sector are complex and grave.

Editorial

A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...
Spate of attacks
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Spate of attacks

Following a near-constant decline since 2016, the year 2021 has witnessed a precipitous rise in violence-related fatalities in KP.
22 Oct 2021

Libel suits

THE outcome of two libel cases recently decided by courts in England should be edifying for the government — if it...
22 Oct 2021

Education losses

A NEW report on the education losses suffered by Pakistani children due to pandemic-induced school closures sheds...