- WHO has declared COVID-19 no longer a public health emergency.
- Ministry asked to direct banks not to ask for certificates.
- Mandatory COVID-19 certificate removed: NCOC.
ISLAMABAD: Health authorities in Pakistan on Wednesday asked all commercial banks not to ask for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate from those applying for Haj 2024.
According to the National Center for Command and Operations (NCOC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Islamabad, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
“[WHO] also lifted many restrictions related to international travel, while also stating that proof of vaccination for international travel is no longer a requirement,” he added.
However, commercial banks receiving Haj applications were asking for COVID-19 vaccination certificates from applicants, which is no longer a requirement for international travel, an NCOC official said The news and asked the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to instruct commercial banks not to insist on COVID-19 vaccination certificates.
“Once the voting is done and people are selected, only then the issue of vaccination against COVID-19 will be raised and in this regard, any decision will be taken on the instructions from the Saudi authorities,” the official added.
Referring to the ‘Instructions for International Travel and Haj Pilgrims’ issued by the NCOC on Wednesday morning, the NCOC official said that the requirement for a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine certificate on arrival at the port of entry into Pakistan has been removed.
Similarly, all inbound passengers will not be required to present a negative PCR report for COVID-19 before boarding or upon arrival, the NCOC official said adding that 2% screening for COVID-19 of passengers traveling from the UK , the Gulf and other countries has also been abolished.
“But we are strengthening syndromic surveillance of all passengers arriving at the point of entry and strengthening infection prevention and control practices to limit the transmission of pathogens at the point of entry. All the above mentioned policies will be implemented with immediate effect till further orders,” the NCOC official added.
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