Pakistan Air Force (PAF) plane with first batch of Coronavirus Vaccine vials has landed in Islamabad this morning.
According to the details, PAF plane Ilyushin Il-78MP Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) landed at Noor Khan Airbase with 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), all arrangements for storage, transportation and administration of the vaccine have been finalized.
The vaccine would be preserved in the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) and National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) cold storage from where it will be transported to the provinces.
NCOC said that all measures for vaccine distribution across Sindh and Balochistan provinces have also been finalized.
In addition to this, the NCOC said a special vaccination centre has been set up in Islamabad while such centres in all provinces at a district-level are yet to be established.
The first batch of vaccines will be provided by the Chinese government as an aid, the foreign office spokesperson said and added that the Chinese government will “actively coordinate with the relevant Chinese enterprise to speed up the export of vaccines to Pakistan”.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) extended standard operating procedures (SOPs), introduced for all inbound flights to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, till February 28.
According to two separate notifications shared by the Aviation Division the previous day, the negative PCR test requirement for the category B and C country passengers had been reduced from 96 to 72 hours.
From February 1 (today), the CAA further explained that only the air passengers holding Pakistani Passport, National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis and Pakistan Origin Card, besides diplomatic passport holders and their families from the category-C countries would be allowed to enter Pakistan, “while in possession of a negative PCR Test Certification conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.”
CAA said that any or all passengers arriving in Pakistan from category-C countries or having stayed in a category-c country within the last 10 days prior to travel to Pakistan could also be subjected to additional conditions as specified by the relevant health authorities upon arrival in Pakistan.
The PCAA also issued a revised list of category A, B and C countries pertaining to international inbound travel to Pakistan in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, which would be valid from February 2 (Tuesday).
Category-A countries – includes Australia, China, Cuba, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam. People coming from these countries are not required to carry the Covid-19 PCR test before entry into Pakistan.
However, explaining category-B, the authority said the negative Covid-19 PCR test, maximum 72 hours old, was required from the international travelers coming from the countries not specified in the categories A and C.
Moreover in category-C, the PCAA said six countries including South Africa, United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, Portugal and Netherlands had been enlisted from where only Pakistanis, diplomatic passport holders and their families would be allowed to enter Pakistan under the certain SOPs including the 72-hour old PCR test before boarding a flight to Pakistan.