ISLAMABAD: Pakistan imposed a total travel ban from 12 countries, including South Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania, in a bid to curb the surge in coronavirus cases as the country recorded 3,667 new cases on Sunday cases, bringing the national total to 626,802.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has notified a new list of countries classified as A, B and C following the emergence of the South African and Brazilian strain of the virus and imposed a complete travel ban from 12 countries, classified in category C.
Travel restrictions and the ban on inbound passengers from 12 countries will remain in effect from March 23 to April 5.
Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Comoros, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia were assigned to category C.
The CAA, in its notification, said there would be a complete ban on travel to Pakistan from Category C countries, including the removal of exemptions previously granted to certain categories of travelers like Pakistani passport holders.
The temporary measure is introduced as a follow-up to measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan, he said.
The CAA has also updated its Category C, for inbound travelers, and upgraded the UK from Category C to Category B.
The CAA said international travelers from Category A countries do not need a COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test before entering Pakistan.
Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam were classified as A.
International travelers from countries not specified in Category A must be tested for COVID-19 before starting their trip to Pakistan.
The notification stated that all countries not specified in A and C fell into category B.
Meanwhile, the Department of National Health Services reported that another 8.74 positivity rate was recorded in the past 24 hours, which is lower than 9.47 the day before but still high.
He said 44 more patients died in the past day, bringing the death toll to 13,843 nationwide.
In addition, 581,852 people have recovered to date, while 2,900 are in critical condition.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, two days after Pakistan’s prime minister received the first injection of a vaccine.
Khan, 68, contracted the coronavirus on a day when the country recorded the highest number of positive cases since July with 3,876 people infected.
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