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#Omicron Fear: Pakistan bans entry from Hong Kong, South Africa, five other countries

Pakistan bans entry from Hong Kong, South Africa, five other countries on Saturday!

Pakistan announced a ban on entry from six southern African countries as well as Hong Kong “due to threat” from the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

Omicron, a variant of the novel coronavirus that some scientists fear could be more transmissible than the delta variant.

National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announcing the decision in a statement said that a ban on direct or indirect inbound travel from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, and Eswatini has been imposed, with the countries placed in Category C “with immediate effect”.

However, to facilitate stranded Pakistanis, travel from these countries will be allowed till December 5, 2021, without exemption, but the aforementioned protocols will be applicable, the NCOC said.

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NCOC has also directed Aviation Division, airport management, and the Airport Security Force to devise a mechanism for screening passengers traveling from the above-mentioned countries through indirect flights and share it with all the concerned authorities by November 29.

NCOC notified that the Pakistani passengers travelling from these countries on “extreme emergency” will only be allowed after obtaining exemptions and ensuring the following protocols:

  1. Vaccination certificate
  2. Max 72-hour-old negative PCR report before boarding
  3. Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on arrival at the airport
  4. RAT negative cases will undergo 3 days mandatory home quarantine and re-RAT will be conducted on the third day
  5. RAT positive cases will undergo 10 days mandatory quarantine at government or self-paid facilities
  6. Their PCR test will be conducted on the 10th day in quarantine.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives and NCOC chief Asad Umar also shared that the travel curbs were imposed on six southern African countries and Hong Kong.

“Based on the emergence of the new covid variant, notification has been issued to restrict travel from 6 south African countries and Hong Kong. The emergence of a new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older,” he tweeted.

Saman Siddiqui

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