Citing Covid-19 variants, UK imposes journey ban on Pakistan alongside others

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LONDON: The British authorities mentioned on Friday that it will add 4 international locations, together with Pakistan, to its so-called crimson listing, banning incoming journey to England, citing coronavirus “variants of concern”.

United Kingdom’s Division for Transport mentioned that the ban on guests from Kenya, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Pakistan would enter pressure at 0300 GMT on April 9.

This may embrace anybody who left the international locations or transited by way of them within the earlier 10 days.

The UK and Irish nationals and people with UK residence rights travelling from these international locations must quarantine in lodges for 10 days.

The division mentioned that the ban was over new knowledge displaying elevated dangers of importing coronavirus “variants of concern”.

The brand new guidelines take the full variety of red-listed international locations to 39. Different international locations included on the listing are Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, UAE, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Pink Itemizing signifies that solely UK and Irish nationals and people with residency rights within the UK will probably be allowed to journey to the UK if they’ve been in Pakistan within the 10 days earlier than they arrive,” British Excessive Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner mentioned in a video message posted on Twitter.

The British authorities mentioned that the listing enlargement got here at a “vital time for the vaccine programme”.

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The UK has given greater than 31 million folks, or greater than 45 per cent of the inhabitants, the primary dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

These extra restrictions will “assist to cut back the chance of latest variants – corresponding to these first recognized in South Africa and Brazil – getting into England,” the Division for Transport mentioned.

The UK has set a possible Might 17 date for resuming worldwide journey, which is banned apart from a couple of legally permitted causes.

“However [their] schedules might change,” Turner mentioned.

A activity pressure arrange by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is anticipated to suggest a traffic-light system to rank international locations crimson, inexperienced or amber for journey in response to the dangers posed by their virus charges.

In the meantime, International Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday mentioned that the federal government was making all-out efforts to comprise the unfold of Covid-19 in addition to overcoming its opposed impacts on the nationwide economic system.

The overseas minister, in a gathering with Pakistan-origin British nationwide Dr Tariq Mahmood, who known as on him, mentioned that the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic was changing into extra extreme in Pakistan, a International Ministry press launch mentioned.

He mentioned that the anti-Covid vaccination drive was shifting forward efficiently in phases.
The overseas minister lauded the providers of Pakistani docs, nurses and well being employees dwelling within the UK in the course of the pandemic.

They mentioned the general scenario of the pandemic and the issues of mutual pursuits.

The third wave of the coronavirus in Pakistan has been intensifying over the previous couple of weeks with each day instances reaching ranges final seen in June and July of 2020.

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Over the last 24 hours, the nation reported 5,234 instances. That is the very best variety of instances reported up to now this 12 months, and the very best since June 20, 2020, when 5,948 instances had been recorded.

The overall variety of instances within the nation is 678,165. Deaths have risen to 14,613 after 83 fatalities had been reported over the last 24 hours.

Final month, Federal Minister for Planning, Improvement and Particular Initiatives Asad Umar had asserted: “Sure, there isn’t a doubt that the third wave has began. The phenomena which might be driving it’s the unfold of the UK pressure.”

“Our personal statistics from the previous couple of weeks present a sustained improve in our case fatality fee (the variety of sufferers who succumbed to the virus from the full quantity contaminated). On the time, we had been speculating that it might be linked to the UK pressure. However now the analysis report is right here which establishes [the link],” the minister had mentioned, terming it a “very harmful scenario”.

“We requested Nationwide Institute of Well being (NIH) to do genome sequencing and first we noticed the UK pressure in areas in north Pakistan, together with Islamabad. After that, we additionally did genome sequencing for the remainder of the nation,” he had added whereas speaking to a non-public information channel.

The federal minister had additionally identified that the brand new pressure of the coronavirus was extra transmissible than the unique pressure from Wuhan.

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