The Pakistan government has banned people, over the age of 18, who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 from domestic air travel, the media reported on Sunday. According to a document issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), available with Dawn, it has been decided that no unvaccinated citizens of 18-year age and above will be allowed to undertake domestic air travel from August 1.
“Restriction is for domestic air travel and people travelling from Pakistan to abroad or from abroad to Pakistan are exempted from restriction. It is also not applicable on link flights if these are within 72 hours of arrival or departure," the document states.
However partially vaccinated individuals, foreign nationals, Pakistani nationals having documentary proof of vaccination abroad and patients who are clinically advised against vaccination due to risk of reaction are exempted from restriction.
This announcement comes as Pakistan’s overall Covid-19 caseload and death toll have increased to 1,004,694 and 23,016, respectively.
On July 23, with the detection of 1,425 new Covid-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, Pakistan’s overall infection tally on Friday crossed the 1 million mark amid the fourth wave of the pandemic, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said.
According to the NCOC, the country’s overall caseload since the beginning of the pandemic last year currently stood at 1,000,034, Xinhua news agency reported.
The new daily cases marked the first time that the country reported less than 2,000 new cases in a day after almost one week’s time, the NCOC’s data showed.
The Centre said that the Sindh province has been the worst hit, with a total of 362,182 confirmed cases, followed by Punjab province with 351,707 infections.
A total of 22,939 people have so far died of the disease nationwide, the NCOC said, adding that 2,525 people are in critical condition.
The country currently has 53,623 active cases while 923,472 others have recovered from the disease.
Pakistan is currently facing the challenge of the surging fourth wave with the Delta variant spreading across all provinces.
According to a recently conducted survey in Karachi, almost 100 per cent of new Covid-19 cases being detected in the city are of the Delta variant.