New Delhi: In a bid to boost COVID-19 vaccination, Pakistan has banned domestic travel of unvaccinated adults, i.e., people above 18, IANS cited media reports as saying. As per a document accessed by Dawn and issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) no unvaccinated citizen of 18 and above will be permitted 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,” IANS quoted the document as saying.
Further, it added that partially vaccinated individuals, foreign nationals, Pakistani nationals possessing documentary proof of vaccination abroad and patients who are clinically advised against vaccination due to risk of reaction will be exempted from the restriction.
The announcement comes amid the country’s overall COVID-19 caseload standing at 1,004,694 with 2,819 people testing positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, while the death toll has reached 23,016. Asad Umar, head of the NCOC, on Saturday urged citizens to get vaccinated and follow the standard operating procedures citing that the risk of transmission was not over.
Earlier, in June, Pakistan’s Punjab had decided to block SIM cards of citizens who refuse to take the jab in order to fight vaccine hesitancy. The decision was taken at a meeting in Lahore chaired by the province’s health minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid.
(With agency inputs)