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COVID travel curbs: British MP says move to add Pakistan in ‘red list’ is ‘discriminatory’ – Pakistan

(Karachi) British Labour MP Naz Shah has criticized the UK government for imposing travel restrictions on Pakistan in wake of COVID-19 infections, saying the move is discriminatory, local media reported.

As per details, Shah said that Pakistan has been added to the ‘red list’ despite having the lowest number of coronavirus cases as compared to India, France, and Germany.

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She asked the new South African COVID variant is not a concern in Pakistan so why hasn’t the UK government extended the red list to France, Germany, and India?” She termed the decision as discriminatory to Pakistan and its diaspora in the UK.

“Further, it was knowingly and consciously discriminating against Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora community,” added the British MP. She stated, “Why aren’t countries which have significantly more cases, including the South African variant, not on the red list too? Why Pakistan and not France which has 10 times more cases.”

Supporting the argument, MP Shah cited infection figures prevalent in several regional and European countries and compared those with few of Pakistan, to question the British government decision.

Naz Shah mentioned, “According to recently available data for the last seven days France, Germany and India have a substantially higher number of infection per 100,000.”The figures quoted by Shah are Pakistan: 13, UK: 54, Bangladeshi: 15, Germany: 137, Kenya: 17, India: 24, and France: 403.” The government isn’t serious about protecting the British public as its applying decisions led by politics, not data.”

Earlier, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner announced that the UK has added Pakistan to its red list of travel ban countries.

“Red Listing means that the only UK and Irish nationals and those with residency rights in the UK will be allowed to travel to the UK if they have been in Pakistan in the 10 days before they arrive,” Turner said in a video message posted on Twitter.

The commissioner said passengers seeking to travel to the UK from Pakistan will have to pay for a mandatory quarantine stay at a hotel in the UK.

The measures will come into effect from April 9, 4:00 am. The commissioner said direct flights between both countries will continue to operate as usual.

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