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Rapid PCR testing begins at airports across Pakistan


Owing to difficulties being faced by UAE-bound passengers, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Friday said that the counters for conducting rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for Covid-19 have become functional at all international airports of the country.

According to Express News, a spokesman for the authority said that the services of UAE-accredited Pakistani labs have been made available at the airports.

The spokesperson said that the counters have started taking rapid PCR tests for the passengers departing from Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Quetta, Peshawar and Faisalabad airports.

Read more: Rapid PCR test facility to be available at Karachi airport in two days: CAA

“Airport managers have been instructed by the CAA to provide all facilities and assistance to the passengers,” he further said.

The development comes after hundreds of passengers were barred from travelling to Dubai for not having rapid PCR test, which is required to be conducted within four hours before the departure of the flight.

However, it contradicts the authority’s earlier stance that the country did not have resources to conduct rapid PCR tests and only rapid antigen testing was currently being used as a method of testing passengers for Covid-19 at the airports.

Also read: CAA to establish rapid PCR test facilities at airports to facilitate Dubai travellers

In a letter written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Friday, the authority stated that the rapid PCR testing facility cannot be provided to departing passengers for Dubai as it was currently unavailable in Pakistan.

It urged the MoFA officials to take up the matter with relevant authorities in the UAE on priority basis so that they can reconsider their policy.

According to the latest travel advisory issued by the UAE authorities, the travellers are now required to have a valid Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours between the time of sample collection and scheduled flight departure.

Only Covid-19 PCR test reports from certified labs that issue a QR code linked to the original report will be accepted, it added.

Travellers will also need to undergo a Covid-19 PCR rapid test four hours before the departure of their flight, which will be once again carried out upon their arrival in Dubai. It was further said that Rapid Antigen Test will not be accepted.

The advisory maintained that UAE nationals were exempted from the new travel advisory, but would have to undertake a Covid‑19 PCR test upon their arrival in Dubai.





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