PM seeks WHO’s Help in Lifting Travel Restrictions

PM seeks WHO’s Help in Lifting Travel Restrictions

PM Imran asks WHO chief to develop travel guidelines to ensure no discrimination against low income countries

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) to play its role in engaging member states to remove Covid-19 related travel restrictions on Pakistan and other developing countries and to work towards a data-driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.

According to a PM Office statement, in a video conference with WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom, Premier Imran observed that travel restrictions imposed by the developed countries in the wake of Covid-19 could further exacerbate economic difficulties of developing countries struggling to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the pandemic.

The WHO noted the progress made by Pakistan in containing the spread of virus and appreciated the steps taken by the government of Pakistan in fighting the pandemic.

The prime minister appreciated the support extended by WHO to the international community, including Pakistan, to fight Covid-19.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s strategy of deploying scientific and data driven interventions as well as rapid upgrades of healthcare facilities while attempting to maintain a balance between life and livelihood that had yielded positive results with a current downward trajectory in the spread of pandemic.

The WHO director general said that the WHO was working to suggest Covid-19 related travel guidelines to help the international community in making these decisions.

Mirza contracts Covid

Dr Zafar Mirza, one of the main prime minister’s focal persons on coronavirus, has tested positive for the deadly respiratory disease, joining a long list of lawmakers and politicians who have recently contracted the virus.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. Under medical advice, I have isolated myself at home, and taking all precautions,” Mirza, the special assistant to the prime minister on health, tweeted on Monday.

“I have mild symptoms. Please keep me in your kind prayers. Colleagues, keep up the good work! You are making a big difference, and I am proud of you,” he added.

Last week, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also tested positive for coronavirus and was shifted to Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi.

Further, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan has soared to 231,818.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 131,649 coronavirus patients have so far recovered from the disease across the country.

As many as 3,344 new cases surfaced during the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 231,818. These include 81,963 in Punjab, 94,528 in Sindh, 28,116 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 10,814 in Balochistan, 13,494 in Islamabad, 1,561 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 1,342 in Azad Kashmir.

The death toll from the virus has reached 4,762 with 50 more deaths reported over the last 24 hours. About 22,271 coronavirus tests were carried out during this period.