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Unvaccinated people banned from domestic air travel – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Natio­nal Command and Opera­tion Centre (NCOC) has decided that unvaccinated people, over the age of 18, cannot be allowed to undertake domestic air travel.

Besides, Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa and his wife Sarina Isa have tested positive for coronavirus.

Federal Minister for Pla­n­ning, Development and Spe­cial Initiatives Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, said that Pakistan had the lowest mortality rate among Covid-19 patients as compared to other countries of the region.

According to a document of the NCOC, available with Dawn, it has been decided that no unvaccinated citizens of 18-year age and above will be allowed to undertake dom­e­s­tic air travel from August 1. “Restriction is for domestic air travel and people travelling from Pakistan to abroad or from abroad to Pakistan are exempted from restriction. It is also not applicable on link flights if these are within 72 hours of arrival or departure,” the document states.

However partially vaccinated individuals, foreign nationals, Pakistani nationals having documentary proof of vaccination abroad and patients who are clinically advised against vaccination due to risk of reaction are exempted from restriction.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended suspension of flights from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to Dubai till July 28. In a statement, Emirates airline said that passengers who had connected through any of the four countries in the last 14 days would not be permitted to travel from any point to the UAE.

“UAE Nationals, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of diplomatic missions who comply with updated Covid-19 protocols, are exempt and may be accepted for travel,” it stated.

According to a statement issued by the deputy registrar of Supreme Court, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Sarina Isa have been tested positive for Covid-19. Their test reports were issued by the National Institute of Health. They have been quarantined at home and are under treatment.

A document of Polyclinic, available with Dawn, shows that Justice Isa had 102 degrees Fahrenheit fever and body ache on July 23. As he was found positive for Covid-19, he has been advised to take antibiotics, calcium supplements, steam inhalation and some other medicines. Some tests and isolation for at least 12 days have been advised.

In November last year, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, the then chief justice of Peshawar High Court, had passed away at the age of 59, days after contracting the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, a sudden increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has been observed after confirmation by the NCOC that infections caused by delta (Indian), beta (South African) and alpha (UK) variants of coronavirus are being reported across the country. On Friday, the country surpassed the figure of one million cases and on July 18 was ranked 30th among countries that have detected most number of cases since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, NCOC head Asad Umar claimed on Saturday that coronavirus-related deaths were fewer in Pakistan than other countries of region.

“Covid deaths/million population in our region: Iran 1037, Nepal 326, India 301, Sri Lanka 186, Afghanistan 160, Bangladesh 113, Pakistan 102. Timely decisions, hard work, cooperation of people & blessings of Allah made this possible. Risk is not over. Follow sop’s & vaccinate,” he tweeted.

The NCOC data shared on Saturday shows that 32 deaths and 1,841 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in a single day and the number of active cases was 54,122 as of July 24.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2021

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