Passengers arrive at Jinnah International Airport, in Karachi, Pakistan. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in view of “mass vaccination undertaken by various countries and a downward trend in all COVID-19 indicators across the globe” has decided to restore inbound air traffic at full capacity from November 10.

In a statement, the NCOC said that after enforcement of obligatory vaccination for inbound travel in Pakistan with effect from Oct 21, COVID-19 related travel policy and health/testing protocols have been revised.

The inbound air traffic will now operate at full quantum with effect from Nov 10, 2021, it further said.

According to the NCOC statement, five countries - Armenia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Iraq and Mexico - have been placed in category C, keeping in view their high positivity and daily COVID-19 cases/deaths and low vaccination rate.

On the other hand, Slovenia, Mongolia, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Ukraine have been included in high-risk countries

Punjab vaccinations

Half the eligible population of the biggest province of Pakistan, Punjab, has been vaccinated. This was announced by Chairman of the NCOC, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiative, Asad Umar in a tweet on Thursday.

“Punjab becomes the first province to have more than half of its eligible population inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine,” said Asad Umar, adding 52 per cent of the province’s population has been administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) follows with 48%, Sindh 40% and Balochistan at 17%”

19 deaths, 580 new cases

According to NCOC, COVID-19 claimed 19 lives and infected 580 more people during the last 24 hours.

The country’s COVID-19 positivity rate remained 1.32 per cent after 43,901 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan’s Ministry for National Health Services (NHS) revealed the country’s toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 28,496 after 19 fatalities while there were 22,577 active cases of COVID-19 left in the country.

The recovery rate has also seen positive sign registering one per cent increase, from 95 per cent to 96 per cent.