Pakistan retained on ‘red list’ on account of ‘deteriorating Covid situation’: UK


ISLAMABAD:

UK senior well being official JO Churchill has mentioned that Pakistan is retained on Britain’s “red list” as a result of “worsening Covid-19 situation and low testing rates”.

In a letter dated August 6, Churchill whereas explaining the rationale for conserving Pakistan on the purple listing of nations mentioned UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre continues to evaluate threat primarily based on elements together with incidence, traits in deaths/hospitalisations, exported instances in addition to testing and check positivity charges.

Her response comes after Pakistan together with a number of members of the British House of Commons slammed the UK authorities for conserving Pakistan on its purple listing of nations on the newest coronavirus travel replace whereas eradicating India from it.

The British authorities positioned Pakistan and India on the purple listing on April 2 and 19, respectively. However, in an up to date listing, the federal government introduced that India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE could be moved to the amber listing from August 8.

“In Pakistan, the combination of a deteriorating epidemiological situation, combined with low testing rates and limited genomic surveillance, presents a high risk that an outbreak of a new variant, or existing VoC [variant of concern], will not be identified before it is imported to the UK,” she mentioned in a letter.

Also learn: Pakistan could also be moved from UK’s ‘red’ to ‘amber’ listing

The UK well being official mentioned the present trajectory of the pandemic in Pakistan can be of explicit concern. “In the past 7 days, the incidence of cases in Pakistan has increased by 87% on the previous week (19 – 25 July). The incidence of deaths has increased by 75% in that same period. Test positivity is high and rising, growing from 5.6% on 26 July to 7.9% on 3 August,” learn the letter.

In main cities like Karachi have reported positivity charges of as much as 20%, she added.

The purple listing of the nations means solely the UK nationals and people with residency rights might be allowed to travel to the nation in the event that they stayed in Pakistan within the 10 days earlier than they arrive. The amber travel listing implies that returnees can quarantine at home, fairly than in a resort.

Britain’s MP Yasmin Qureshi termed the move to maintain Pakistan on the purple listing whereas downgrading India “a clear and blatant discrimination towards Pakistan”.

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