NCOC puts travel bar on people from 26 countries

Published June 13, 2021
An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said Pakistan had introduced three categories to deal with Covid-19. — AFP/FIle
An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said Pakistan had introduced three categories to deal with Covid-19. — AFP/FIle

ISLAMABAD: The National Comm­and and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday placed strict restrictions on travellers from 26 countries including India, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia and South Africa by placing them in C category.

In a separate development, the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospitals has fallen by around 60 per cent, with the positivity ratio remaining below 4pc.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said Pakistan had introduced three categories to deal with Covid-19. He said: “Countries in A category are exempted from the mandatory Covid-19 test, travellers 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.”

According to a document available with Dawn, the NCOC revised the inbound air/land travel categories with an immediate effect.

The document mentioned India, 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 as well as Uruguay in the C category list.

All other countries have been included in B category and passengers from these countries will be required to present a negative PCR test result.

Meanwhile, the NCOC data reported 1,194 new cases and 57 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As many as 2,990 patients are currently admitted to hospitals compared to around 7,000 in April, indicating a drop of around 60pc. According to the official data, there were 42,717 active cases across the country on June 12, while 325 patients were put on ventilators.

Moreover, the country has been witnessing a positivity ratio of less than 4pc since May 30 when a rate of 4.05pc was reported at the national level.

Earlier on June 11, the NCOC had extended walk-in vaccination facility to around 39 million people in the age group of 18-30 years.

NHS ministry spokesperson Sajid Shah told Dawn that the government wanted to inoculate people at the earliest so that herd immunity could be achieved. He said public sector employees would have to be vaccinated by June 30 and to facilitate the vaccination all relevant centres would remain open from 8am to 10pm daily, except Sundays.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2021

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