To the surprise of many, the UK government decided to keep Pakistan on the red list for travel while shifting India, Qatar, UAE, and Bahrain to the amber list. The decision was taken on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, and the new changes will take effect from Sunday, August 8, 2021, at 4 AM.
So what is the red list and why Pakistan should be removed from it? Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
What is the Red List?
The red list is one of the ratings in the UK traffic light system. Countries are rated red, amber, or green for travel to the UK amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The ratings entail certain rules citizens from other countries must obey when traveling to England. If a country is on the red list, citizens from that country can only travel to the UK if they are British or Irish nationals.
Moreover, the citizens from the red list country have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their arrival to the UK as well as take three COVID-19 tests, including one before their departure.
Why Pakistan Should Be Removed from the Red List?
Being on the red list is a huge problem for Pakistani citizens who wish to travel to the UK. Travel restrictions prevent them from visiting their families in England and the increased costs of quarantine in British hotels can be tough to bear. Here are some of the reasons why Pakistan deserves to be removed from the red list
1. Less Number of Coronavirus Cases
The number of daily cases of COVID-19 being reported in Pakistan is around 4762 (7-Day Average) with 5661 new cases reported as of August 4, 2021. In India, the number is significantly higher at 40,571 (7-Day Average) with 40,982 new reported cases. That means that in Pakistan coronavirus affects 14 out of 100,000 people whereas in India it affects 20 out of 100,000 people.
2. The Delta Variant Effect
The country where the delta variant first originated, back in October 2020, India, has now been removed from the Red list and shifted to the Amber list. On the other hand, Pakistan still remains on the red list. This seems like a very harsh decision on the part of the UK government.
3. Pakistan’s Positive Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic lead by the National Command Operation Center (NCOC) has for the most part been positive. Pakistan ranked 3rd in the Economist’s Normalcy Index which is proof of the country’s efforts to curtail the spread of the disease.
PM Imran Khan also lauded the NCOC in this regard in a tweet on July 7th, 2021. Due to these efforts, Pakistan has also managed to avoid a nationwide lockdown.
4. Mortality Rates Comparison – Pakistan vs. India
Shireen Mazari, the Federal Minister of Human Rights, Pakistan also opposed the UK government’s stance and shared a comparison of mortality rates between Pakistan and India that clearly shows that India has a higher mortality rate of 2.74 deaths/min as compared to 1.80 of Pakistan. This further supports the argument that Pakistan should be removed from the red list.
Tweets from British MPs
Apart from thousands of concerned Pakistanis, British lawmakers Sarah Owen, Naz Shah, and Yasmeen Qureshi also took to Twitter to voice their concerns. They criticized the latest changes made to the travel lists made by the British government arguing that the decisions seemed political rather than rational.
Sign the Petition to Remove Pakistan from the Red List
To make your contribution in the favor of Pakistan and its citizens you can sign the petition. Over 100,000 petitions have been signed already. Hopefully, we can pursue the UK government to review their decision and consider removing Pakistan from the red list.
Pakistan continues making efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We as Pakistani citizens must play our role by getting fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if not already.
If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should get an immediate checkup with an experienced medical specialist. You can use oladocx.com to book your appointments with the best doctors in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad.