Pakistan says Covid vaccination must for air travel; announces new restrictions
- Asad Umar, head of the NCOC, said at a press briefing on Thursday unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to enter government offices, schools, restaurants and shopping malls from August onwards.
The Pakistan government announced that it will ban air-travel for the unvaccinated. The country also made vaccination mandatory for all public-sector workers and asked officials to get vaccinated by August 31, according to a report by news agency Reuters. The announcement was made by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), a military-run body which oversees Pakistan’s pandemic response.
Asad Umar, head of the NCOC, said at a press briefing on Thursday unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to enter government offices, schools, restaurants and shopping malls from August onwards. The government also said that teachers and students above 18 as well as public transport and retail staff would also have to get vaccinated by the end of August.
“If you're not vaccinated you can't go to teach at schools and colleges from August 1. We can't put our children's lives at risk just because you're not ready to get the vaccine,” Asad was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
Pakistan has been witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases, dominated by the Delta variant, and finds its health infrastructure under extreme pressure. Pakistan’s Covid-19 test positivity rate stood at 7.53%, according to the NCOC.
The NCOC said that Delta, Beta and Alpha variants of Covid-19 have been detected in Pakistan since May. The Pakistan government ramped up its vaccination drive. On Wednesday it administered 850,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, Reuters announced. Umar said Pakistan aims to administer one million doses every day.
Pakistan vaccinated at least 27.8 million with at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine while only 5.9 million out of a population of 220 million have been fully vaccinated, according to NCOC. The nation recorded 4,497 new cases and 76 deaths in the previous 24 hours, taking the toll to 23,209.