Monday Aug 30, 2021
Jamaat-e-Islami President for Overseas Pakistanis Haji Ameer Zaman criticised the government and National Health Services (NHS) Sunday over its decision to charge travellers for a booster shot.
The government had on Saturday notified that travellers can now get a booster dose of the vaccine after getting their two doses for Rs1,270.
Talking to local journalists Zaman said overseas Pakistanis had been suffering for the past two years due to the pandemic. He said it was unfair of the government to charge them for the booster dose, adding that the decision was against Pakistan's national interest.
He demanded the federal government and the NHS reverse its decision over the extra levy on overseas Pakistanis for getting a booster dose, which was declared necessary for travelling abroad.
He said the government of Pakistan should instead raise the issue with the World Health Organization (WHO) and convince it to accept the foreign travel of those who have been administered Chinese vaccines.
He said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had added Sinopharm and Sinovac to its list of approved vaccines. He said the Pakistani embassy should convince the Saudi government to allow Pakistanis to travel there without getting a booster dose.
Zaman threatened to launch a protest drive against the government if the decision was not reversed within three days.
On August 24, SAPM to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had announced that Pakistanis who wished to travel abroad and needed a specific vaccine to meet the country's vaccine requirement can now do so.
"This vaccine would be allowed not on the basis of medical grounds but for their travelling requirement," he had said.
He had added that for this purpose, travellers have to show their visa of the respective country while this vaccine would be allowed on nominal charges from September 1.
He had said that payment would be charged only in this category as the government wants to facilitate all those students or businessmen or tourists who want to visit abroad, but they are facing hurdles due to not having the required vaccination.
Earlier in August, Saudi Arabia had said that travellers who have received two doses of Sinopharm and Sinovac jabs can enter the Kingdom after they take an additional booster shot of the approved vaccines.