RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and health authorities have found coronavirus in three passengers at new Islamabad International Airport on Wednesday.

According to airport sources, the three positive cases of Covid-19 came to light when a foreign airline flight from Riyadh landed at Islamabad with 396 people, including 25 crew members on board at 2.35 am on Wednesday.

The sources said as the crew members did not disembark the plane, all the passengers were checked by the health staff deployed at the airport though thermal scanners in accordance with the SOPs.

The source said Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) of 359 passengers were carried out by the health staff in the lounge. After about 1-1/2 hours the second RAT test of the passengers was conducted which resulted in the detection of three positive cases of Covid-19.

Those who tested positive were identified as Bahadar Khan, resident of Upper Dir, Mohammad Aseer, resident of Mohamad Agency and Sarzameen, resident of Mansehra.

In the light of directives by the NCOC, all arriving passengers would also be required to undergo Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) upon arrival at the respective airports in Pakistan.

The CAA had said that negative cases will undergo 10 days self-quarantine at home with stringent traces, test and quarantine (TTQ) protocol.

Positive cases will be shifted by provincial/district administration to self-paid facility for 10 days quarantine with TTQ of contacts (if any). Second RT-PCR test will be conducted on 8th day of the quarantine period. In case of a negative result, passengers will be allowed to proceed home.

However, in case of positive result, passengers will either undergo additional quarantine periods or will be shifted to hospital as per advice of health authorities.

The children below 12 years, disabled passengers, high level international delegations, Pakistani deportees will be exempted from both RT-PCR testing and pass track app uploading requirement.

The crew shall only be exempted from Pak Pass Track App; however RT-PCR/Rapid Antigen Test shall be mandatory.

Passengers traveling to Pakistan from any country will be required to present a RT-PCR test before commencement of travel, conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan, whereas travel from Category C countries has been banned except for those given exemption by NCOC exemption committee.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2021

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