Pakistan bans flights from 12 African countries

Islamabad: Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases, Pakistan has placed a travel ban on 12 African countries under the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and eased the restrictions on flights coming from the United Kingdom, The Express Tribune reported.

According to the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), there are three categories in which countries are placed accordingly to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Category A passengers do not require a Covid-19 test while Category ‘B’ needs a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted 72 hours before travelling to Pakistan. Meanwhile, countries in category ‘C’ must obtain clearance from the country’s National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) before sending their flights to Pakistan, The Express Tribune reported.

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Responding to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, CAA issued a new travel guideline on Saturday placing the African countries including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Rwanda, and Botswana, in Category C and imposing travel restrictions in view of the spread of the infection. Meanwhile, the CAA removed UK from Category C and added it to ‘B’.

The new order will applicable from March 23 to April 5, 2021. This latest order comes as Pakistan registered a record number of COVID-19 cases in recent months.

On Saturday, Pakistan recorded at least 3,876 Covid-19 cases, the highest in eight months. It also recorded at least 42 deaths from the virus as the country’s nationwide tally of the disease reached 623,135.

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