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Pakistan likely to face International travel restrictions

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RAWALPINDI: According to recent media reports, Pakistan might be subjected to travel restrictions, due to its poor control on the spread of polio virus, whereby 56 cases of polio were detected from different parts of the country.

An independent International Health Regulations Emergency Committee comprising of 21 members, was formed as per the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This committee is discussing and reviewing the status of polio-affected countries.

The committee is expected to produce the recommendations to Director General of WHO – Dr Margaret Chan soon. Over the past few months, serious concerns have been expressed over the Pakistan government’s ineffective efforts to control the disease.  Pakistanis might soon be subjected to immense difficulties in visiting other countries, especially those that are polio-free and the chances of travel restrictions on Pakistan and Cameroon are high, due to their inability to control the virus.

Pakistani’s may need to provide medical certificates from authentic medical laboratories before travelling abroad and they will have to go through a medical check-up and tests at the destination airports.

Such restrictions can be very detrimental for the country’s economy and business community, which is already facing travel restrictions internationally, due to security reasons. The restrictions will further spoil the country’s image.

Ten nations are being critically scrutinized due to active transmission of poliovirus over the recent six months; three of these countries are still endemic for the disease and seven have been re-infected. 

May 5, 2014

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