The National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday issued a statement that read that travellers from India would not be allowed into Pakistan to prevent the spread of the new “double-mutant” Covid-19 variant.
The Covid-19 response hub, which held a meeting today under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, was informed about the spread of the new Indian variant of the coronavirus. This new variant is considered responsible for the recent surge in cases.
“The forum decided to place India in the list of Category C countries for two weeks. There will be a ban on inbound passengers coming from India via air and land route,” the statement said.
The forum will carry out a review of countries placed in Category C on April 21 in view of the presence of the Indian variant in other countries, the statement added.
Asad earlier expressed apprehension over the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the world and the deaths resulting from them.
In his two tweets, Asad said that more than 300 and 1, 600 deaths were reported from Iran and India, respectively on just one day while single-day fatality figures from around the globe had also reached 13, 000.
He opined never ever there was a greater need to take precautions than it was today.
“Global covid cases exceeding 750,000 per day and deaths more than 13,000. We are seeing some of the worst numbers since covid started. Our neighbourhood in severe crises. Daily deaths in Iran more than 300 and India more than 1600. Need for safety precautions greater than ever.” Asad Umar said in a tweet.
In another tweet, he said that hospitals across the country had to cope with extraordinary circumstances as the patients in critical condition were now over 4, 500 while the oxygen supply capacity was also under stress.
“Hospital fill up continuing to grow. Critical care patients now above 4500, which is 30% higher than the peak in June last year. Oxygen supply capacity in the country is now under stress. Sop compliance remains low. We are making a huge mistake by not following SOPs.”
Similarly, Britain on Monday imposed its strictest travel curbs on India after an explosion of coronavirus cases there, hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off a trip to New Delhi.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said India was being added to Britain’s “red list” of countries, banning all arrivals from India except for UK or Irish nationals, who must pay to stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel for 10 days on their return.