WASHINGTON: The main US health agency continues to place Pakistan among the countries where the chances of catching Covid-19 are low.

In its latest update on the pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed Pakistan in level-1, which is its lowest category for getting infected by a disease. The agency places India in level-3, which includes countries where the chances of catching Covid-19 are high. Another South Asian country, Bangladesh, is in level-2 with a moderate risk of infection.

Countries like China, Brazil, Anguilla, Kosovo, Mexico and a dozen others are in level-4 where the chances of infections are very high.

So far, the pandemic has killed more than 5.74 million people across the globe. With 901,000 deaths in the last two years, the United States is among the worst affected.

The CDC directive also includes key information for those Americans who want to travel to Pakistan despite the pandemic. It advises Americans to “make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines” before traveling to Pakistan.

“Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19,” it adds. “Anyone 2 years or older should properly wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces.”

It also advises visitors to follow all requirements and recommendations issued by the local authorities.

Pakistan is among the top recipients of Covd-19 vaccines from the United States. With the 4.7M Pfizer vaccines that arrived last weekend, the United States has shipped 47.3M vaccines to Pakistan so far.

Another big donor of vaccines to Pakistan is China.

Pakistan has already vaccinated more than 180 million people. As the Omicron variant spreads, health authorities across the world are urging people to get vaccinated.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2022

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