ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday revised the international travel list and included 15 countries in category C as Pakistan reels under the fourth wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, Pak Covid-19 Vaccination Pass App has been launched, which will help identify fake vaccination certificates and facilitate inoculated people.
According to data, 4,343 people contracted the virus and 73 breathed their last in the last 24 hours.
During the NCOC meeting, global situation of coronavirus was analysed on the basis of an increase in daily count of cases, pace of virus transmission and low vaccination rates in different countries.
The meeting decided to place 15 countries — Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Thailand, Libya, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico — in category C while the rest of the nations will remain in category B.
It was also decided that inbound travellers of all categories will have to get tested before arrival. However Pakistanis can travel from category C countries without any hurdle. The global situation will be considered again on Sept 15.
An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), requesting not to be named, said Pakistan had introduced three categories – A, B and C – to deal with Covid-19.
“Countries in category A are exempted from mandatory Covid-19 testing, those in category B require a mandatory negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the travel date while travellers from category C are restricted and only allowed under NCOC guidelines, which include quarantine in government or private facilities,” he said.
Meanwhile taking notice of the complaints about people using fake vaccination certificates to avail facilities of indoor dining, travel and hiring rooms in hotels, the NCOC finally launched an App to verify certificates.
“NCOC in collaboration with NADRA (@NadraMedia) has launched Pak Covid-19 Vaccination Pass App, a digital wallet for Covid-19 vaccination certificate,” the forum tweeted on Saturday.
The NHS ministry official said the App could be downloaded from Playstore and people would be able to obtain a pass by entering their computerised national identity card (CNICs) numbers.
“The pass can be downloaded and people will be able to show or send it to relevant authorities. Foreigners, vaccinated in Pakistan, can download the pass by entering their passport and vaccination certificate numbers,” the official added.
Meanwhile, in a tweet, the NCOC said the national positivity ratio was recorded at 8.09pc with 4,729 critical cases, adding that overall 42,173,424 doses of vaccine had been administered.
Law Admission Test rescheduled
The Law Admission Test (LAT) for students from Sindh has been tentatively scheduled for Sept 26, a statement of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the regular LAT test was held on August 8 in other parts of the country except Sindh where a lockdown had been imposed in the wake of the fourth wave of the pandemic.
“LAT test is now tentatively scheduled for Sept 26 for students from Sindh. In order to facilitate all those students who missed the opportunity to register themselves for the test held earlier, the LAT test is being offered all over Pakistan alongside the test to be held in Sindh. The registration portal – opened on Aug 12 – will be available till Sept 5. Candidates already registered from Sindh for the test on August 8 need not register again,” the statement added.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2021