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Eid-ul- Azha Seen as Next Big Test in Fight Against Covid for Pakistan: Big Eid, Big Test

The health ministry reaffirmed its Eid ul Azha advice, encouraging individuals to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid Covid-19 infection and follow the guidelines.

The World Health Organization has announced a new international travel advice that suggest that confirmation of covid-19 vaccination should not be needed as a condition of access or departure from a country. The NCOC ordered the market’s management to provide hand sanitizers, masks, and the capability to do fast antibody tests at the premises.

On June 25, the number of daily Covid-19 cases reduced from four to three, according to the NCOC website. It stayed around 900 till June 27 before dropping to 735 on June 28. The number of instances progressively increased after that, eventually doubling in just one week. In June, the positivity rate was less than 2%, but it has since risen to about 3%.According to NCOC statistics, 29 deaths and 1,228 infections were reported in a single day, with 32,621 active cases as of July 4. In total, 2,126 people were admitted to hospitals across the country.

According to a Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) representative, the situation was expected to worsen now that all limitations had been relaxed. He remarks that “Now businesses have been opened, ban on intercity public transport on weekends has been lifted and classes in educational institutions have resumed. People are attending wedding ceremonies in closed halls and have started Eid shopping. All those things are becoming the reason for virus spread. We fear that the virus can bounce back around Eid”.

The Ministry of NHS Sajid Shah advise that 16.7 million doses of vaccines had been administered to people so far. “The NCOC has instructed the federating and administrative entities to build cattle markets outside of cities and to vaccinate traders and market employees. Hand sanitizers and masks should be readily available at markets,”

WHO has released a new guidance to countries for international travel.  The guideline’s main points are that foreign travel should always be emphasized for critical purposes during a pandemic, such as emergency and humanitarian missions, essential personnel travel, repatriations, and cargo transfer of essential goods.

“As countries gradually resume or readjust non-essential international travel, the introduction of risk mitigation measures aiming to reduce travel-associated exportation, importation, and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2 should be based on thorough risk assessments conducted systematically and routinely. The application of a precautionary approach is warranted in the presence of scientific uncertainties such as the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs),” it states.

“Proof of Covid-19 vaccination should not be required as a condition of entry to or exit from a country. National authorities implementing testing or quarantine as a condition for the entry of international travelers may consider individualized approaches to exempting them from these measures based on acquired immunity from vaccination or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Adherence to personal protective measures such as mask use and physical distancing must continue to be respected by all international travelers, both while onboard conveyances and at points of entry.

International travelers should not be considered by default as suspected Covid-19 cases or contacts or as a priority group for testing. The overall health and well-being of communities should be at the forefront of considerations when deciding on and implementing international travel-related measures, which should be communicated publicly and in a timely manner.”

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