Pakistan joins global travel bans as Omicron sparks alarm


| Journey ban imposed on flights from 6 African states, Hong Kong | Omicron coronavirus variant detected in Britain, Czeck Republic, Germany, Netherlands | Emergence of latest variant makes it much more pressing to vaccinate all residents: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD  –  The federal government Saturday determined to impose journey restrictions for six South African international locations and Hong Kong instantly within the wake of emergence of latest variant of COVID-19.

Minister for Planning and Growth Asad Umar in a tweet on Saturday mentioned {that a} notification relating to journey restrictions was issued. He mentioned emergence of latest variant makes it much more pressing to vaccinate all residents 12 years and older.

“Resulting from menace of latest variant, the six African international locations have additionally been included in Class C and full ban has been imposed on direct / oblique inbound journey from these international locations with rapid impact. These states embody South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana,” mentioned the NCOC on Saturday.

The NCOC mentioned Pakistani passengers travelling from these international locations on excessive emergency will solely be allowed after acquiring exemptions and following well being / testing protocols shall be ensured for these passengers. The protocols embody vaccination certificates, damaging PCR report (max 72 hours previous) earlier than boarding, and RAT on arrival at airport.

The NCOC mentioned RAT damaging circumstances will bear three-day obligatory dwelling quarantine and re-RAT shall be performed on their third day by civil administration. RAT constructive circumstances will bear 10-day obligatory quarantine (authorities/self paid) and PCR take a look at shall be performed on 10th day in quarantine. Nevertheless, to facilitate stranded Pakistanis, journey from these international locations until December 5, 21 shall be allowed with out exemption however above-mentioned well being/testing protocols will stay relevant.

The NCOC has directed the Aviation Division / Airport Administration / ASF to plot a mechanism for screening of passengers travelling from these international locations by means of oblique flights and share with all involved by November 28, 21.

Nations all over the world have restricted journey from southern African international locations in an effort to comprise a brand new variant of Covid-19, Omicron. In a press release, the World Well being Group mentioned that Omicron has an elevated re-infection danger.

The assertion mentioned the variety of circumstances of this variant seemed to be growing in virtually all of South Africa’s provinces. This variant has numerous mutations, a few of that are regarding.

The WHO mentioned it could take just a few weeks to grasp the influence of the brand new variant, as scientists labored to find out how transmissible it was.

The US, Britain and different international locations which have introduced journey restrictions and measures embody Australia, Japan, Iran, Canada, Thailand Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia have additionally introduced restrictions together with suspension of flights to and from the South Africa states.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Saturday mentioned Covid case numbers have remained comparatively excessive however there have been falling circumstances and deaths. Nevertheless, the brand new Covid variant, Omicron, means England should usher in “focused and proportionate measures now as a precaution,” he added.

Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in a number of international locations together with Britain, Czeck Republic, Germany and Netherlands. Many international locations have imposed restrictions on journey from southern Africa in an effort to cease its unfold.

Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Well being Group, is doubtlessly extra contagious than earlier variants of the illness.

Travellers queue at a check-in counter at OR Tambo Worldwide Airport in Johannesburg as a number of international locations together with Pakistan has banned flights from South Africa. The UK Saturday confirmed its first two circumstances of the brand new Omicron pressure of coronavirus, each linked to journey from southern Africa.