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Pakistan’s new travel guidelines amid spike in COVID-19 cases

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  • CAA also issues new travel advisory for all domestic flights. 
  • NIH directs all authorities concerned to ensure use of masks.
  • Development comes after country reported a surge in new infections.

ISLAMABAD: Amid a constant rise in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Monday issued a new travel advisory directing all authorities concerned to ensure the use of masks on domestic flights, public transport, including trains.

“All citizens should wear masks while travelling in order to prevent themselves from being affected by the infection,” the directions stated.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had also issued a new travel advisory directing all authorities concerned to ensure the use of masks on domestic flights.

The aviation authority issued the advisory following a surge in the cases and experts’ warning that increased travel is one of the reasons behind the spike in positivity.

The COVID-19 positivity ratio in Pakistan is nearing 3%. As many as 382 new cases were reported during the last 24 hours, National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH) data showed Monday morning.

According to a CAA notification, the concerned authorities have been ordered to ensure compliance with the new directives while the other COVID-19 guidelines on domestic air travel remained unchanged.

The air regulator had lifted restrictions after the country overcame the fifth wave of coronavirus, however, after the recent surge, the authorities are mulling reimposing certain SOPs.

Experts warn new infections may turn into sixth wave

Experts warned Pakistan may potentially witness another COVID-19 outbreak as the country continues to see an uptick in new cases, pushing the positivity rate further up.

In view of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, the health experts have also warned that the surge in new infections may turn into the sixth wave of the pandemic.

The latest data showed that Karachi is the most affected city, reporting a high positivity ratio during the last few days.

The metropolis recorded 22.65% positivity in the last 24 hours while the nationwide ratio was 2.85%, the NIH figures showed.

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Business

The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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PTI is given further time by the ECP to provide documents in the intra-party election case.

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Following an intra-party elections case, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was given an extension by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday to submit its paperwork.

Hearings were held on the PTI intra-party election case before a three-member bench chaired by Sindh ECP member Nisar Durrani.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ECP member questioned who oversaw the PTI elections as it wasn’t an organization.

Regarding the PTI’s recent election, the ECP voiced no objections. Barrister Gohar, the Chief of PTI, replied, “We plan to address a few legal and technical queries given enough time.”

During the raid on the PTI Central Secretariat, he claimed that the police had seized everything, including crucial party records, and that they had not even left a “water dispenser.”

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Business

In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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