Pakistan begins testing travelers from Gulf countries for coronavirus
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has resumed COVID-19 testing at airports for people coming from Gulf countries.
The testing was resumed after Pakistan reported the first case of a new sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus virus. The new variant has been named “Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1”.
According to the notification issued by the CAA, testing was being done on the instructions of the Health Minister. Teams have been deployed at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports to conduct rapid antigen testing.
Passengers will receive the results of these tests within 20 minutes.
Passengers with a positive test result will have to be quarantined at their own expense. Meanwhile, those who test negative will be allowed to go home. They will have to stay indoors for a week.
new sub-variant of coronavirus
Pakistan reported its first case of a new sub-version on 9 May.
According to the health ministry, the variant entered Pakistan through a person who had traveled from Qatar.
The man had mild COVID-19 symptoms and has since made a full recovery. All the family members of the patient tested negative.
According to a government release, the minister said, “As of now the situation is under control but we should remain alert.”
The federal health minister said the government was monitoring the situation and there was nothing to panic.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered the immediate restoration of the National Command and Operation Center after the sub-version was detected.
The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) which was set up in 2020 as the nerve center for Pakistan’s integrated response against Coronavirus ceased operations on March 31, 2020.
The then NCOC chief Asad Umar said the decline in the spread of the virus and the rate of vaccination indicate that people should return to normal life.
“This institution which was established in case of emergency” [now] There is a need to be phased out,” Omar said.