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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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Zaidong, the ambassador, said China will fully back Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations.

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Reaffirming on Thursday that China will provide Pakistan with unwavering support in its fight against terrorism is Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong.

In an interview that was broadcast on television, the ambassador promised to cooperate with Pakistan and said that China will protect the interests and safety of the citizens of the two friendly nations.

Zaidong underscored that efforts to undermine the two nations’ bilateral relationship would be thwarted by China’s cooperation with Pakistan.

Also, he emphasized how crucial China-Pakistan relations have become strategically given the changing nature of the world.

In highlighting the transformative impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the ambassador reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to seeing it through.

In addition to creating thousands of employment, he said, “the CPEC has facilitated significant advancements in power generation and transportation infrastructure with over $25 billion in direct investments and substantial infrastructure development.”

Zaidong stressed the value of sharing ideas and knowledge between Pakistan and China, acknowledging their shared security objectives.

Stressing that both countries have a common future, he envisioned their partnership having a greater social impact.

Concerning the terrorist attack on Chinese nationals [working on the Dasu dam], the ambassador expressed gratitude to the Pakistani people for their condolences and sympathy and commended the government for its prompt action.

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Mild rain in Lahore improves the weather

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Early on Friday, light rain in the province capital Lahore and its surrounding areas improved the weather.

But rain also led to power outages in several areas of Lahore, as multiple feeders of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) blew, leaving whole sections of the city without power.

Details show that rain was observed in a number of locations throughout the city, including Model Town, Gulberg, Garden Town, Mall Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Gulshan Ravi, Jail Road, and Sanda.

However, the Met Office has forecasted an additional day of rain for the city during the next 24.

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The government will begin coordinated action against lawbreakers in the Katcha region

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On Friday, Mohsin Naqvi, the interior minister, announced that the government would begin a coordinated operation in the Katcha region to eradicate the miscreants for good.

He stated that collaborative efforts in the Katcha region will make use of contemporary technologies, including drones.

According to Mohsin Naqvi, all security agencies, including the police, should make sure that SOPs are fully implemented in order to protect Chinese nationals living in Pakistan.

He declared that any carelessness in this respect will not be accepted at all while presiding over a meeting to review the National Action Plan’s implementation at NACTA headquarters in Islamabad.

According to Naqvi, failure to follow the SOPs for the safety of foreign nationals will result in severe disciplinary action.

“We have to outfit our departments with cutting-edge technology to eradicate terrorism,” stated the interior minister. He declared that the provinces will receive all the assistance from the federation in this area.

Anti-state forces will be permanently driven out of the Katcha region, according to Naqvi. The interior minister expressed satisfaction with the anti-smuggling operations and stated that all ministries need to make sure that smugglers face stern legal action.

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