Pakistan airlines in talks with healthcare firms for rapid tests

Currently, thousands of Pakistanis with UAE residence visas are stranded due to the non-availability of the facility at airports.

Airlines in Pakistan are in talks with different healthcare service providers in the country to offer rapid PCR testing facilities at airports for passengers departing to the UAE.

“Talks are underway with healthcare service providers to introduce rapid PCR tests at Pakistan’s airports. All airlines, including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), are trying to arrange this facility,” said Shahid Mughal, regional manager for the UAE at PIA.

Last week, UAE authorities announced that residents who have been fully vaccinated in the UAE can travel back to the country from Pakistan, starting August 5. Returning passengers are required to submit a negative rapid PCR test four hours before the flight.

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>> UAE travel: Pakistanis remain stranded due to non-availability of rapid antigen test facilities

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request the UAE Government to consider results from antigen tests instead of rapid PCR tests, which are mandatory for passengers flying into UAE.

Currently, thousands of Pakistanis who hold UAE residence visas are stranded due to the non-availability of rapid PCR tests at the airports.

Dawn newspaper on Sunday reported that Pakistan’s health ministry has requested airlines to set up their testing counters at airports for UAE-bound passengers.

Chughtai Lab, one of the largest laboratories in Pakistan, said rapid PCR test facilities are not widely available in the country.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

Waheed Abbas

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