Pakistan to slash international flights to 20pc from May 5 to 20 to curb Covid-19 cases

Published May 1, 2021
Pakistan plans to reduce the number of inbound international flights to 20 per cent of current numbers to curb rising Covid-19 cases. — AFP/File
Pakistan plans to reduce the number of inbound international flights to 20 per cent of current numbers to curb rising Covid-19 cases. — AFP/File

Pakistan plans to reduce the number of inbound international flights to 20 per cent of current numbers to curb rising Covid-19 cases, the official body overseeing the country's pandemic response said on Saturday.

"In view of prevailing global and regional disease trends, Pakistan has decided to reduce inbound international travel from 5 May to 20th May," said the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), which oversees the government's pandemic response, on Twitter.

It was not immediately clear which routes and air carriers would be affected.

The NCOC added the decision would be reviewed on May 18.

The forum said that there had been no change in the list of Category C countries, travellers from which are banned in Pakistan.

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

Pakistan has seen record deaths in recent days from the coronavirus, and stricter restrictions on movement and gathering in public are planned for the upcoming Eid holiday. Officials are worried the country's health care system, already under strain, could reach breaking point if more contagious variants of the virus begin to spread, as has happened in neighbouring India.

On Saturday, authorities reported 4,696 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 146 deaths from the disease.

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