PMA wants strict Covid screening at airports

Published November 28, 2021
Muslim devotees wait for a train before their departure to their hometowns at a railway station ahead of Eidul Azha in Karachi on July 20. — AFP/File
Muslim devotees wait for a train before their departure to their hometowns at a railway station ahead of Eidul Azha in Karachi on July 20. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Expressing concern over the threat posed by the new Covid-19 variant, ‘Omicron’, that has attracted serious worldwide concern, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Saturday called upon the government to temporarily suspend travel from South Africa, which has reported this variant, and other countries of the region.

“It’s a wake-up call. The government must take immediate measures to prevent this variant from entering into the country and impose a temporary ban on air travel from South Africa and other countries of this region,” said PMA secretary general Dr Qaiser Sajjad.

On behalf of the association, he suggested that the government improve Covid-19 surveillance facilities at airports and other entry points of the country, especially for passengers arriving from high-risk countries.

“If anybody is found with symptoms of Covid-19, the person should be quarantined at entry points whereas passengers testing positive for coronavirus should be kept in isolation facilities,” he emphasised.

He feared that the government failure in taking immediate action might lead to another Covid-19 wave in the country.

“It could be serious because this new variant is more contagious. We should be very careful to avoid any untoward situation. We ask people to get vaccinated. Wear masks properly whenever they go out, improve ventilation in indoor spaces, avoid crowded places, ensure physical distancing and hand hygiene,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2021

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