Pakistan has imposed travel bans on seven countries, including South Africa, over concerns over the new Code-19 variant Omicron.
According to a notification issued by the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), new travel restrictions have been imposed on South Africa’s first-ever variant Omicron’s concerns.
The notification said the travel bans included six African countries, including South Africa, Lesotho, Switzerland, Mozambique, Botswana, and Namibia, as well as Hong Kong.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Omar made the announcement on the social networking site Twitter.
Based on the emergence of the new covid variant, notification has been issued restrict travel from 6 south african countries and Hong Kong. The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older.— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) November 27, 2021
Asad Omar said that a travel ban notification has been issued to six South African countries and Hong Kong following the release of the new variant of the Covid.
“With the advent of the new variant, it has become increasingly important that all citizens over the age of 12 be vaccinated,” he said.
The NCOC said in a statement that South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Auschwitz, and Lesotho had been added to the C-list and that sanctions had been imposed to prevent the spread of new strains of the virus in South Africa and neighboring countries.
The statement said that Pakistani nationals from countries with travel restrictions would be allowed to come to Pakistan in case of extreme emergency, however, they would be required to have a 72-hour old Corona negative test with vaccination certificate and boarding.
According to the NCOC, passengers will be tested for rapid antigen at the airport, passengers with mini-tests will be quarantined at home for three days and the administration will re-test the passenger on the third day of quarantine.
The statement said that the PCR test of the passenger will be done on the 10th day of the quarantine.
According to the notification, for the convenience of Pakistanis stranded in these countries, travel is allowed till December 5, but testing protocols will remain in force.
The NCOC has directed the Aviation Division, Airport Management, and ASF to work out procedures for screening passengers on direct flights from restricted countries.
Omicron Rapidly Transmitted Virus:
The World Health Organization (WHO) panel has dubbed the first reported variant in South Africa ‘Omecron’ and classified it as a fast-transmitting virus. The virus is a variant of the Delta variant, whose cases are still occurring in Europe and the United States, and is causing deaths.
The WHO said that while it was not yet clear how dangerous Omicron would be, preliminary evidence suggests it could increase the risk of re-infection compared to other transmitted viruses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that people who have recovered from the coronavirus may be infected, and it will take weeks to determine whether existing vaccines are effective against it.
Other experts, including the WHO, have warned of a possible reaction to the virus after it was studied.
Experts in South Africa say the cause of the virus and the severity of the disease have not yet been determined.
Restrictions on travel to various countries, including the United States:
The virus appeared in the United States after the lifting of sanctions and the celebration of a return to normalcy, in which it was thought that the lives of vaccinators had returned to normal.
Announcing the new travel bans, US President Joe Biden said, “It seems to be spreading very fast. I have decided we will be careful.”
The White House says travel bans will be imposed on seven countries, including South Africa, from Monday.
The European Union (EU) has imposed new travel bans following a diagnosis of the virus in South Africa.
“We need to take action as soon as possible,” said Sajid Javed, Britain’s health secretary.
Earlier, the United Kingdom announced that it was banning flights from South Africa and five neighboring countries and that all recent arrivals from those countries would be tested for corona.
According to reports, Omekron has so far been diagnosed in travelers from Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel, as well as South Africa.
Singapore and Japan are among the countries that have tightened quarantine conditions as well as imposed restrictions on flights from South Africa and its neighbors.
Germany has also announced sanctions, saying flights from South Africa will only allow German citizens to enter the country and they will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days.
Coronavirus cases have been reported rapidly in Germany recently and the total number of deaths from the virus there has exceeded one million.
Italy’s health minister says seven African countries, including South Africa, have been barred from entering Italy for the past 14 days.