ISLAMABAD: Head of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar Saturday announced to impose a travel ban on seven countries after the emergence of a new COVID variant, Omicron, ARY NEWS reported.
Taking to Twitter to make the announcement, the federal Minister for Planning and Development and head of the NCOC Asad Umar said that based on the emergence of the new covid variant, Omicron, notification has been issued to restrict travel from seven countries.
“Notification has been issued to restrict travel from 6 south [African] countries and Hong Kong,” he said adding that the emergence of a new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens of 12 years and older.
The discovery of a new coronavirus variant has triggered global alarm with a number of countries suspending travel from South Africa.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement said it was designating the variant, named omicron, as being “of concern”, a label only given to four variants to date.
The United States will restrict travel from South Africa – where the new mutation was discovered – and neighboring countries effective Monday, a senior Biden administration official said.
Going further, Canada said it was closing its borders to those countries, following bans on flights announced by Britain, the European Union, and others.