Airport screening for new Covid variant steps up

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Border Health Services (BHS) on Thursday advised authorities at all airports to step up coronavirus testing for all passengers arriving in Pakistan — following a worldwide resurgence in cases of a new Covid-19 variant “BF.7”, especially in China and India.

The advisory also calls on the Airport Health Services to screen — using Antigen Rapid Test— every unwell traveller at the airports.

According to the notification, all the focal persons of the BHS have been advised to maintain a heightened level of awareness for the rapid identification, detection, and isolation of any potential cases to prevent further transmission as a part of effective control and prevention measures.

All the in-charges have been advised to strictly implement Infection Prevention Control (IPC) protocols at the points of entry, including disinfection and fumigation of passenger arrival areas and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPES) by the healthcare workers for interruption of transmission.

A random sampling of all inbound passengers on international flights (2%) has been advised as part of the national response against COVID-19 at the points of entry.