RAWALPINDI: Random screening (Rapid Antigen Test) of travellers arriving from Gulf states and Saudi Arabia begins at Kara­chi, Lahore and Islamabad airports from Saturday, days after the first case of Omicron sub-variant was reported in Pakistan.

The Centre for Diseases Control, the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, which took the decision in the wake of the Omicron sub-variant, recommended the authorities concerned to keep a close check for surveillance and monitoring at points of entry.

According to a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), RAT would be conducted at the three airports for all inbound flights from the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia as per proportion. The process through RAT would be effective from 12:01am on May 14 at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports, he said.

Initially, Rapid Antigen Test of 10 to 15 passengers arriving on planes having 150 seats and between 15 and 20 travellers arriving on aircraft with minimum capacity of 250 seats will be conducted.

The spokesman explained that the CAA and CDC were implementing the measures in light of the health ministry’s directive. The measures would remain in effect until further notice by the CDC, he added.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2022

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