A sniffer dog at work at an airport. Pakistan is deploying sniffer dogs to detect passengers infected by COVID-19. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Sniffer dogs have been deployed at the New Islamabad International Airport to identify COVID-19 infected passengers entering Pakistan from abroad.

Initially, a team of four specially trained dogs will sniff out COVID-19 positive passengers at the airport. The deployment of the dogs was given the go-ahead in a meeting of the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) held last week to review enforcement of lockdown during the Eid holidays.

As follow-up of the NCOC decision, the Pakistan Army provided specially trained dogs to the airport authorities.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) the decision was taken after several fake reports of COVID-19 were produced by passengers upon arrival. When tested later they were found infected with the coronavirus.

Registration of 30-year-olds starting from Sunday

Pakistan is opening registration of people above the age of 30 for vaccination from Sunday, May 16, as the country’s “vaccine supply continues to improve and vaccination capacity gets enhanced in all federating units.”

Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiative Asad Umar in a tweet on Wednesday said the government was expanding the categories of those who are eligible to get vaccinated and registration of persons in the age group 30-40 years is starting from Sunday.

According to the NCOC’s vaccination statistics, Pakistan on May 11 administered jabs to 131,571 people. The total number of vaccine doses administered so far in the country until Tuesday is 3.883 million, the statistics further reveal.

Sindh to keep vaccination centres open during Eid holidays

Although vaccination centres in the country will remain closed on Eid Al Fitr and the next day, the Sindh government has announced to keep them open even during those two days.

Heading a meeting of the coronavirus task force, Syed Murad Ali Shah, the Sindh Chief Minister, said that the Expo Centre vaccination facility will remain open even during the Eid holidays.

104 deaths, less than 3,000 new cases in one day

COVID-19 pandemic claimed 104 more lives across Pakistan over the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll from the disease to 19,210.

According to the NCOC data, the positivity rate of coronavirus came down to 7.42 per cent as a total of 2,869 new infections were detected after 38,616 samples were tested during the same period.

The number of confirmed cases climbed to 867,438 with the addition of 2,869 new cases, while 5,200 people recovered from the disease, taking the number of recoveries to 771,692. The NCOC data also reveals that there are 76,536 active cases in the country.