KARACHI: Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Tuesday issued operational standard operating procedures (SOPs) for inbound passenger flights, announcing a mandatory 10-day quarantine for people arriving in the country from abroad
The guidelines direct the health officers to carry out Rapid Antigen Testing — an over-the-counter (OTC) test for people with or without symptoms — of all international passengers on arrival.
Negative cases will undergo a 10-day self-quarantine period at home with stringent trace, test and quarantine (TTQ) protocols while positive cases will be shifted to a paid facility for a similar quarantine period with TTQ of their contacts, if any.
A second RT-PCR test to detect the presence of viral RNA will be conducted on the eighth day.
In case of a negative outcome, the passenger will be allowed to proceed further. However, in case the test comes back positive, the passenger will either undergo a further quarantine period or will be shifted to hospital as per the advice of health officials.
Last week, the CAA announced to reduce from May 5 (Wednesday) the number of international flights into and out of its airports by 80 percent to help curb rising cases.
In view of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, Competent Authority on the directives of Government of Pakistan has decided to reduce/curtail flight operations of Scheduled Airlines by 80% thereby allowing only 20% of the approved schedule for Summer 2021. pic.twitter.com/xVetuk3LYj
— PCAAOfficial (@official_pcaa) May 1, 2021
The restrictions will run to May 20, the authority said in a statement, though it did not specify which flights or destinations would be affected by the measure.
The restrictions will also be applied to chartered and private flights as well as scheduled services.
The controls will be reviewed on May 18, the government said in a statement endorsed by the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC).
The latest development comes as the portal registered 161 deaths in the last 24 hours by the coronavirus and the number of positive cases surged to 837,523.
According to the latest figures by the NCOC, 3,377 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.
Punjab remained the worst-hit province in terms of deaths and cases, followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The authorities have so far tested 11,965,682 samples including 37,587 tested in the last 24 hours. 733,062 patients have recovered in the country whereas 5,326 remain in critical conditions across the country.