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Pakistan: COVID-19 test mandatory for int’l passengers

Aviation authority orders airline operators to prevent passengers from boarding without test results

Islamuddin Sajid   | 18.03.2020
Pakistan: COVID-19 test mandatory for int’l passengers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan 

Travelers will have to take a mandatory coronavirus test before being allowed into Pakistan, the country’s aviation authority said late Tuesday.

“With effect from Saturday March 21, 2020, all international arriving passengers to Pakistan Airports shall be required to provide a copy of test results for COVID-19 through RT-PCR conducted during the 24 hours prior to boarding” the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in referencing the test for the virus known as COVID-19.

Airline operators will not allow any passenger to board without results, the order said, adding that results should bear the name and passport number of the passenger.

Authorities also announced the resumption of international flights to all airports in the country.

“International flight operations will revert to all international Airports except Gwadar and Turbat Airports with effect from March 21 after equipping our international Airports with the necessary infrastructure and resources to ensure proper screening of international passengers,” said the CAA.

Pakistan announced Friday it was halting international flights to all airports except Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

National tally rises

The government confirmed the nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 236 Tuesday, after 142 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

Health officials said the new cases were reported in northeastern Punjab, southern Sindh, and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.
Most of the new patients had recently returned from neighboring Iran, which has the highest number of cases and deaths after China and Italy.

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 163 countries and territories. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of over 197,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,900, while more than 81,000 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

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