Expecting a large influx of Afghan migrants into Pakistan, the country’s health authorities have decided to make arrangements for testing every person entering Pakistan from the Afghan border for Covid-19 and sending those found infected with the virus to quarantine centres.
An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), who is not authorised to speak to the media, said there was a strong chance that a large number of people, including Pakistanis and the nationals of other countries, would come from Afghanistan to Pakistan.
He said the government had already decided that Pakistani nationals would be allowed to enter the country even if they did not have negative reports of Covid-19 PCR tests. However, the people of other countries would be tested for the virus and those found infected would be shifted to quarantine centres, he added.
The number of positive Covid-19 cases across the country has declined as a result of new restrictions announced by the federal and Sindh governments.
However, Ashura, which is falling on Thursday, is going to be a big challenge for the government because there is a danger of re-emergence of coronavirus due to the likely participation of people in a large number in mourning gatherings and processions to be held across the country.
The official said the federal and Sindh governments have announced the new restrictions keeping in mind close proximity of the people in mourning gatherings and processions.
However, he added, it would be a big challenge for the government departments concerned to make the people follow coronavirus-related SOPs.
The lockdown imposed by the Sindh government last week produced a positive result as the number of coronavirus cases in the province had decline, the official reported.
He said the Provincial Task Force in Sindh had also decided that unvaccinated people would not be able to get their salaries after Aug 31 and that police could check vaccination certificates on roads.
Later, the federal government had also imposed some restrictions, including closure of businesses for two days in a week.