The Foreign Office on Monday asked 12 officials of the Indian High Commission (IHC) to quarantine, after a family member of an official tested positive for Covid-19.
According to reports, the officials were asked to undergo quarantine along with their family members and drivers after an official’s spouse tested positive for the coronavirus. The officials were made to undergo rapid antigen tests at their arrival at the airport.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry said the 12 Indian High Commission officials and a group of their families had entered Pakistan through the Wagha border on May 22 where they were tested. The reports confirmed that the wife of an official had contracted the coronavirus.
The National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) reviewed the case and advised all 12 officials, including their family members and drivers, to undergo mandatory quarantine, the spokesperson added.
Under the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), India and Pakistan has decided that if an official of diplomatic staff or their family member tests positive for Covid, they will be asked to quarantine or they may be asked to return to their countries.
On May 1, the NCOC had devised protocols for the inbound passengers, imposing a condition of Covid testing at Pakistan airports and a mandatory quarantine for 10 days. In case a passenger tests positive, he will have to shift to a quarantine facility where he would be re-tested for Covid-19 after eight days. If the passenger tests positive again, he or she will have to be shifted to a hospital.
The cost of the quarantine will have to be paid by the passengers themselves.
Earlier this month, Health Director General Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar had ruled out the presence of the Indian variant of coronavirus, but also warned that it could spread to most countries, including Pakistan, if preventive measures were not taken.