PCAA announces rapid PCR test facility at Karachi airport in two days
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has announced that the counters for rapid PCR tests for Covid-19 will become functional within two days at the Karachi airport.
The PCAA said that the services of Pakistani labs accredited by the UAE authorities would be available at the Karachi Airport four hours before the departure of passengers going abroad, adding that the fee of the test would have to be paid by the travellers.
“The CAA is finalising all possible measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the authority further stated in a statement.
The announcement came after hundreds of passengers were barred from travelling to Dubai for not having a rapid PCR test, which is required to be conducted within four hours before the departure of the flight.
However, it disclaims the authority’s earlier stance that the country did not have the resources to conduct rapid PCR tests and only rapid antigen testing was currently being used as a method of testing passengers for the novel Coronavirus at the airports.
Earlier, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had said that it will set up mobile testing facilities at airports amidst Pakistani expatriates’ denial to fly to the UAE due to the non-availability of Rapid Test facilities.
A regional manager for the UAE at PIA said the national carrier will set up mobile labs at the airports so that the UAE-bound passengers can take rapid tests before boarding flights.
PIA currently runs international flights to UAE from Peshawar, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Multan and Karachi.
Earlier, the United Arab Emirates had announced the lifting of the ban on transit flights to several countries, including Pakistan.
In this regard, five vaccines have been approved for use in the UAE:
- Sputnik V
The UAE’s National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority had said that the ban on transit flights to several other countries, including Pakistan, India and Nigeria, would be lifted from August 5. However, thousands of travellers going abroad are stranded in Pakistan.
The UAE airport is considered a hub for international travellers. Due to the Coronavirus, the Gulf country banned flights from African countries, including South Asia. Dubai officials said on Tuesday that transit passengers from countries that were banned would now be able to use Dubai Airport.
However, all such passengers will have to show a negative PCR test, which was done better hours before departure.
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