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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has imposed a complete ban on travel from 12 countries, including South Africa, Rwanda, and Tanzania, in a bid to curb the spike of coronavirus cases as the country on Sunday recorded 3,667 new positive cases, while total number of infections stands at 626,802.

According to the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), 44 more deaths and 3,667 news positive cases of coronavirus infection were reported in the country during the last 24 hours. The death toll from the pandemic has now reached 13,843. So far, 581,852 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 2,900 patients are in critical condition. At least, 41,960 tests were conducted across the country. At least 581,852 people have recovered from the deadly disease while 9,773,993 samples have been tested thus far.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) notification, a fresh list of countries categorised into A, B, and C after emergence of South African and Brazilian strain of the virus and imposed a complete ban on travel from 12 countries, categorised as C.

The travel restrictions and a ban on inbound passengers from 12 countries will remain effective from March 23 to April 5.

Botswana, Brazil, Columbia, Comoros, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia have been placed in category C.

The CAA, in its notification, said there will be a complete travel ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from category C countries, including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided to certain categories of travellers like Pakistani passport holders.

The temporary measure is being introduced in continuation with the steps being taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Pakistan, it said.

The CAA also updated its Category C, for inbound travellers and shifted the United Kingdom from Category C to Category B.

The CAA said the international travellers from Category A countries do not require COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test before entry into Pakistan.

Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam have been placed in Category A.

The international travellers from countries not specified in Category A require COVID-19 test before commencement of travel to Pakistan. The notification said all countries which are not specified in A and C fall in Category B.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Health Services reported that another 8.74 positivity rate was recorded in the last 24 hours, which is lower than 9.47 of the previous day but still high.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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