Islamabad, 11 August 2021 Wednesday

Pakistan’s top health official has written to Britain’s health secretary expressing dissatisfaction that his country has been kept on the travel ban list, while India has been exempted. Pakistan has called it an injustice. Pakistan was placed on the list of countries with travel ban in early April, while India was placed on the list of countries with travel ban on April 19. India, along with some other countries, was removed from the list on 5 August, while Pakistan is still on the list.

Britain’s transport secretary, Grant Shepps, tweeted: “UAE, Qatar, India and Bahrain are being removed from the red list. Changes will take effect from 4am on Sunday, 8 August. Adviser Faisal Sultan on pandemic data from Pakistan shared and countries in the region.

The letter was shared by Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Twitter. Sultan said a three-pronged approach should be used to prevent the infected people from traveling. This includes proof of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine, 72-hour RTPCR test and rapid antigen testing at the airport.

Comparing the figures for Pakistan, India, Iran and Iraq, Sultan said that Pakistan has the lowest number of deaths per million cases per million, while vaccinations per 100 people have the highest. He also said that a sufficient number of tests are being conducted in Pakistan.