ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has established rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing facilities at eight major airports in different cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Quetta and Sialkot for passengers travelling to United Arab Emirates (UAE).
On the other hand, six people passed away after losing their battle against Covid-19 in Islamabad and Rawalpindi districts whereas 464 new positive cases emerged during the last 24 hours.
Officials of the capital administration said all three deceased were male patients from the 60-79 age bracket and positivity rate in the capital was recorded at 9.1pc.
Sialkot International Airport was the first to provide the testing facility to passengers. According to a PCAA official, passengers can avail the facility at Islamabad International Airport (IIA) one and a half hour prior to departure of the flight. The service has been provided with the cooperation of well-reputed laboratories and authorities concerned.
He said 2,050 passengers have so far availed the facility at the Islamabad airport. Passengers have expressed satisfaction over establishment of the facility at the airport and appreciated the airport management.
UAE authorities had directed authorities to get Covid-19 tests of passengers done four hours before departure from Pakistan.
At IIA, the airport manager Adnan Khan has directed the authorities concerned to facilitate passengers as much as possible.
The PCAA spokesman said that 1,626 passengers have been tested at Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore, while 2,561 passengers had been provided the facility at Bacha Khan Airport Peshawar.
He said at Jinnah International Airport, tests of 1,742 passengers were carried out. Likewise, 938 passengers were provided the facility at Multan airport, 277 passengers at Faisalabad airport while 2,801 passengers availed the facility at Sialkot airport.
The spokesman said a total of 11,995 UAE-bound passengers from 63 flights have availed the facility at different airports.
The UAE recently lifted a travel ban on passengers from Pakistan and five other countries. After the travel ban was lifted, airlines operating flights to the UAE signed agreements with Pakistani laboratories for establishment of testing facilities on airports premises.
Passengers were asked to arrive at the airport six hours prior to flight departure so they could be tested.
Meanwhile, during the last 24 hours 3,535 tests were conducted in the capital; there was a decline in the number of positive cases since the last two days. On Saturday, 571 people were diagnosed with the disease followed by 444 on Sunday and 325 on Monday.
A decline in the positivity rate was also seen during the period, officials said, adding the capital’s positivity was 11.5pc on Saturday followed by 9.2pc on Sunday and 9.1pc on Monday.
APP ADDS:Out of the new patients that emerged in Rawalpindi district, 126 belong to Rawalpindi and 13 were brought from other districts.
According to a report issued by the District Corona Management Centre on Monday, among the new positive cases, 25 belong to Rawal Town, 32 are from Potohar Town, 33 from Rawalpindi cantonment, five from Gujar Khan, 11 from Murree, two from Kallar Syedan, 13 from Taxila, three each from Kotli Sattian, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Chakwal, and Islamabad, two from Kahuta and one each from Attock, Mianwali, Jhelum and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Presently, 54 virus patients are admitted in Holy Family Hospital, 35 in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, 88 in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology, 44 in Fauji Foundation Hospital, five in District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, four each in Bilal and Hearts International Hospital, two in Begum Akhtar Memorial trust, and one in Attock Hospital.
The report stated that five patients are on ventilators in critical condition, 100 are stable and 132 are on oxygen support. As many as 1,687,800 people including 38,769 health workers have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2021