Pakistan on Monday banned travelers coming from India for the next two weeks, fearing the spillover of a new variant of the coronavirus from the neighboring country.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), a state-run body that oversees the country’s anti-virus strategy which is presided over by Minister for Planning Asad Umar, said a statement by the center.
“The forum has decided to place India in the list of Category C countries for two weeks. There will be a ban on inbound passengers coming from India via air and land routes,” the statement said.
Travelers from Category C countries cannot travel to Pakistan, even Pakistani citizens, without prior approval, according to the NCOC’s safety protocol.
The meeting, the statement added, was briefed about the spread of the new Indian variant of the coronavirus — a “double-mutant” variant— which is considered responsible for a recent spike in infections in the neighboring country
As India recorded a fresh daily high of over 273,000 coronavirus cases over 24 hours, the government in the capital New Delhi on Monday announced a weeklong lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
How the double mutant, now potentially ravaging India, was first detected in October, how the pace of sequencing and initial funding efforts were entirely below par for several months and how a new variant with a triple mutation could be the next headachehttps://t.co/SYv7ZK8Tvw— Vishnu Som (@VishnuNDTV) April 20, 2021
India has so far reported over 15 million positive cases of the coronavirus and 178,769 deaths.
Pakistan’s total caseload stands at 761,437 with 16,316 fatalities.
UK added India to ‘red list’
Amid concerns over a new coronavirus variant, the UK added India to its travel “red list,” the health secretary announced on Monday.
Starting at 4 am on Friday, non-UK and Irish citizens who have been in India in the previous 10 days will be banned from entering the UK. British and Irish citizens will have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, Matt Hancock told parliament.
The decision was made due to the new Indian variant of coronavirus. A total of 182 cases of the variant have been found in the UK, including 162 in the last five weeks.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk