Islamabad [Pakistan], August 10 (ANI): A federal minister of Pakistan has expressed outrage at the UK government's decision to retain the country on its Red List of countries facing travel restrictions.
On Monday, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that the UK never asked Pakistan for data related to the country's COVID-19 situation to review their decision, Geo News reported.
The minister was responding to a report which said Pakistan was retained on the Red List as the country had not provided UK authorities data on vaccination and testing.
"Ridiculous! UK govt, dominated by Indophiles and despite globally documented India's continuing disastrous handling of Covid pandemic, moved India to Amber List but keeps Pak on Red; then under pressure from Opp MPs gives feeble excuse Pak didn't share data," Mazari tweeted.
The British Government has retained Pakistan on the 'red list' of its travel advisory due to the 'deteriorating Covid situation' in the country. UK senior health official JO Churchill, in a letter dated August 6 explained the reasons for keeping Pakistan on the red list of countries, reported The Express Tribune.
She said that UK's Joint Biosecurity Centre continues to assess risk based on factors including incidence, trends in deaths/hospitalisations, exported cases as well as testing and test positivity rates.
Her response comes after Pakistan was retained in the red list of countries at the latest coronavirus travel update while India was removed from it, reported The Express Tribune.
The British government placed Pakistan and India on the red list on April 2 and 19, respectively. However, in an updated list, the government announced that India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE would be moved to the amber list from August 8.
"In Pakistan, the combination of a deteriorating epidemiological situation, combined with low testing rates and limited genomic surveillance, presents a high risk that an outbreak of a new variant, or existing VoC [variant of concern], will not be identified before it is imported to the UK," she said in a letter.
The UK health official said the current trajectory of the pandemic in Pakistan is also of particular concern.
The red list of the countries means only the UK nationals and those with residency rights will be allowed to travel to the country if they stayed in Pakistan for the ten days before they arrive. The amber travel list means that returnees can quarantine at home, rather than in a hotel. (ANI)