Pakistan seeks exit from Britain’s ‘red’ list

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DNA

LONDON: Pakistan has asked the British government to remove its name from England’s “red” list, Pakistan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Moazzam Ahmed Khan said Thursday, following the latest review by Britain of its travel curbs.

The passengers on the red list require a costly 10-day hotel quarantine on arrival. Georgia, Mexico, and France’s Indian Ocean territories of La Reunion, and Mayotte have also been moved onto the red list.

Moreover, passengers from red list countries need to take a COVID-19 test before they enter England — children aged 10 and under do not need to take it.

Khan said the coronavirus situation is better in Pakistan, except for Karachi, “and our government has done tremendous work in its COVID-19 response”.

“Pakistan’s coronavirus response has been acknowledged globally,” he said. The Economist, in a report, had ranked Pakistan at number three out of 50 countries who performed well in controlling the COVID-19 spread.

The British government should “appreciate Pakistan’s coronavirus response, review its decisions, and consider Pakistan’s recommendations,” the envoy added.

British members of Parliament also lambasted their government for not removing Pakistan from the red list.

British MP Naaz Shah in a statement issued on her twitter handle said she was surprised by the move, adding that this is not the first time that the British government has shown such callous behaviour when dealing with the quarantine traffic light system.

She said, “India s seven-day infection rate is 20 per 100,000 people and is now on the amber list but Pakistan, whose seven-day infection rate is just 14 per 100,000 people – well below the vast majority of amber list destinations, remains on the red list.”

“Whilst families have been forced away from loved ones for months, it is unacceptable for decisions to be made in such ways. I will be raising this issue further,” the British MP added.

Bolton South East MP Yasmeen Qureshi also pointed out that Pakistan is on the red list despite no concerns.

“I asked the government and tried to resolve the issue, but to no avail,” she said and added the government wants to punish Pakistan for its potential economic benefits, which is a clear discrimination towards Pakistan.