ISLAMABAD, Feb 16 (APP): Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has installed a digital token system at the Islamabad International Airport (IIAP) aimed at conducting the smooth and rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests of the passengers arriving from Category-C countries.

“A digital token system has been installed at Islamabad Airport for conducting Rapid Test for Cat-C countries inbound passengers,” spokesman for Aviation Division Abdul Sattar Khokhar said in a press statement on Tuesday.

He said approximately 1,000 passengers arriving from Category-C countries including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Island, Portugal and Netherlands were undergoing the ‘Rapid Antigen Test’ for COVID-19.

“Before we had a manual token system for them, but now we have introduced a digital system at Islamabad International Airport for their convenience,” the spokesman said.
According to a recently updated list of the PCAA, effective from February 2, the passengers coming from Category-A countries including Australia, China, Cuba, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam were not required to carry the COVID-19 PCR test before entry into Pakistan.

Explaining Category-B, the spokesman said the negative COVID-19 PCR test, maximum 72 hours old, was required from the international travellers coming from the countries not specified in the Categories A and C.

In Category-C, the PCAA said six countries including South Africa, United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, Portugal and Netherlands had been enlisted from where only Pakistanis, diplomatic passport holders and their families would be allowed to enter Pakistan under the certain SOPs including the 72-hour old PCR test before boarding a flight to Pakistan.

As per the standard operating procedures (SOPs), introduced for all inbound flights to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, the negative PCR test requirement for the Category B and C country passengers had been reduced from 96 to 72 hours, from February 1 to 28.

The PCAA had clarified in its previous notification that only the air passengers holding Pakistani passport, National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis and Pakistan Origin Card, besides diplomatic passport holders and their families from the Category-C countries would be allowed to enter Pakistan, “While in possession of a negative PCR Test Certification conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.”

Under the SOPs, any or all passengers arriving in Pakistan from Category-C countries or having stayed in a Category-C country within the last 10 days prior to travel to Pakistan could also be subjected to additional stipulations as specified by the relevant health authorities upon arrival in Pakistan.