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Omicron Virus: Pakistan revises travel guidelines for passengers from UK



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ISLAMABAD:-The National Command and Operation Centre has revised its travel policy for people returning to Pakistan from the United Kingdom via both direct and indirect flights.

The decision was taken Monday after cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus increased.

Under the new guidelines, it is mandatory for passengers to undergo a rapid antigen covid test upon arrival. They will have to carry a vaccination certificate and negative coronavirus test results, 48 hours before boarding the flight.

The NCOC has instructed the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to adjust direct flights from the UK to provide passengers time to conduct rapid covid tests at the airport.

The decision was taken to curb the spread of Omicron in Pakistan. On Sunday, the total number of cases of the new strain in UK rose to 3,137.

“Transmission of COVID-19 is already high in the community, mainly still driven by Delta, but the emergence of Omicron adds additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare services,” health experts told AFP.

“Early evidence shows that Omicron is spreading much faster than Delta and that vaccine protection against symptomatic disease from Omicron is reduced,” they added.

The officers said boosters were vital given that vaccine protection was reduced with Omicron, and both third jabs used — Pfizer and Moderna — increased immune response and showed “good effectiveness”.

With additional information from AFP

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