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Tried and Non-Tested: Malik Riaz Business Tycoon Refused to give Samples for Covid-19 test @ Lahore Airport

Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, his spouse and other associates of his team refused to go through Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)

Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, his spouse and other associates of his team refused to go through Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) for the Covid after arriving at Lahore air terminal in violation of National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) guidelines & SOPs.

In a letter written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) central command in Karachi dated May 17, 2021, Lahore air terminal chief operating officer and manager Akhtar Mirza said the Bahria Town CEO refused to give samples for the Covid-19 test, when a group of air terminal staff went to his residence for the purpose.

Riaz alongside four others arrived at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport through a chartered flight from Dubai at around 10:30pm on Sunday.

After the passengers went through the immigration process, CAA duty staff requested them to go through RAT, a quick analytic test that identifies the presence or non-appearance of an antigen and gives results in five to 30 minutes. “But they did not respond and rapidly moved towards international arrivals exit gate,” Mirza expressed in the letter.

He said CAA officials informed the group about government instructions regarding the Covid-19 antigen testing requirement “but in vain”. However, later two associates of Riaz’s team underwent RAT and were found negative for Covid-19.

letter of chief operating officer/airport Manager CAA, lahore to Director APS HQCAA Karachi

But Riaz, Bina Riaz and Shahid Mahmood Qureshi left the airport without getting themselves tested which is an open violation of NCOC instructions and SOPs”, the letter added.

 The CAA management then contacted the government health team and Riaz’s personal staff officer to obtain the RAT samples from Malik Riaz residence. A two-member team of airport health staff later went to Riaz’s house shortly after midnight on Sunday but unfortunately once again he  refused to give samples for the mandatory test and airport staff returned to the airport at 1:40am.

The letter was submitted to the airport services director at CAA Karachi headquarters for his “information and further necessary action”.

After finding  the coronavirus in some passengers arriving in Pakistan from overseas, regardless of them possessing negative PCR test results, the CAA last week tightened rules regarding testing.

“Upon conducting an investigation into the issue, it has been found that passengers travelled to Pakistan using fake PCR negative test results and threatened not only passengers travelling with them, but also undermined the intense efforts being made at the national level to curb the spread of Covid-19,”

the CAA said in a notification dated May 10.

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