Moneycontrol PRO
Contest Alert:Last day to win Amazon vouchers worth Rs 5000. Take the MCPRO Quiz today to grab yours!

Pakistan to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib amid COVID wave

The decision to open Kartarpur shrine was taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday due to the approaching death anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak Dev on September 22.

August 22, 2021 / 01:38 PM IST

Pakistan has decided to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from next month amidst efforts to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus.

The decision to open Kartarpur shrine was taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday due to the approaching death anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak Dev on September 22.

Dawn newspaper reported that the NCOC meeting unanimously decided to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur next month under strict COVID-19 protocols.

Follow our LIVE blog for latest updates of the novel coronavirus pandemic

Due to the Delta variant, India had been in category C in Pakistan from May 22 till August 12, and special approval was required for people coming from the country, including Sikh pilgrims.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

However, now fully vaccinated persons with certificates will be allowed to enter Pakistan provided they show real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test reports which should not be more than 72 hours old.

Apart from this, Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will also be conducted at airports and in case of a positive result, the individual will not be allowed to enter Pakistan.

Besides, as per non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), a maximum of 300 people will be permitted to assemble at a time at the darbar.

According to an official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), Pakistan had introduced three categories to deal with the coronavirus spread.

“Countries in category A are exempted from the mandatory COVID-19 test, travellers from areas falling in category B are required to present a negative PCR test that must be taken within 72 hours of the travel date, while visitors from nations in category C are restricted and can travel only under specific NCOC guidelines,” the official said.

The restriction on visit to Kartarpur was being eased despite 3,842 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally of confirmed cases to 1,123,812, according to the data shared by the Ministry of National Health Services.

Another 75 people died in this period and the death toll due to coronavirus reached 24,923. The positivity rate was 7.18 per cent which was highest in the last three days.

The vaccination drive was going on and a consignment of 2 million doses of Sinovac vaccine reached Pakistan on Saturday to replenish the stock. So far 46.45 million doses have been administered in the country.

Also, Pakistan on Saturday provided Sri Lanka with lifesaving COVID-19 medical equipment. High Commissioner of Pakistan Mohammad Saad Khattak called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and handed over equipment on behalf of the Pakistani government.

The equipment included 75 ventilators and 150 C-PAP breathing aid machines manufactured in Pakistan, according to an official statement by the Pakistan government.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Aug 22, 2021 01:37 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark