The Sindh government on Thursday recommended to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and National Institute of Health (NIH) to test travellers coming from China for Covid-19 at airports across the country. In a letter dated Dec 29, the Sindh Health Department pointed out that Covid cases and mortalities were resurging in global proximities, while a new variant had also emerged. In this view, it presented some recommendations and requested the NCOC to issue an advisory for people. “All the inbound passengers on flights from China be tested for Covid-19 at airports. In case of positive results, the person shall be quarantined until they become negative for contagion,” the provincial government suggested, adding that serology tests of confirmed positive cases should be carried out. “A huge number of false negative cases of new Covid-19 variant are also being reported so any person showing symptoms similar to the virus should be isolated and tested on PCR for confirmation.” The health department advised mandatory administration of Pfizer booster doses for people who got inoculated six months ago, especially those above the age of 65. “Establishment of isolation centres for positive cases and those with symptoms but showing negative tests. They must undergo chest x-rays as a part of pneumonia investigation,” it added. Other recommendations also included declaring Covid vaccination mandatory for both national and international travel, wearing masks in public, and avoiding mass gatherings. Earlier in the day, NIH reported that 12 new cases were reported across Pakistan in the last 24 hours. The case positivity ratio was 0.33pc, while 19 patients were in critical condition. No death was reported from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours while 3,583 tests were conducted. Separately, Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel has said that the Covid situation in Pakistan was “under complete control” and requested the nation to stay away from “rumours”. In a meeting held at the NIH, he said that the Covid positivity rate in the country was around 0.3pc to 0.5pc and over 90pc of the population was vaccinated. “A system of surveillance and screening is under place at airports across Pakistan. Disinfection sprays and sanitizers have also been installed,” Patel pointed out. He further said that PCR tests of those testing positive for the virus will be conducted. “Our staff is working diligently at all the airports and the internal and external routes of the country,” Patel added. Meanwhile, the United States has joined a growing number of countries in imposing restrictions on visitors from China after Beijing announced it would remove curbs on overseas travel as Covid cases surge at home. Hospitals across China have been overwhelmed by an explosion of infections following Beijing’s decision to lift strict rules that had largely kept the virus at bay but tanked the economy and sparked widespread protests. China said this week it would end mandatory quarantine on arrival, prompting many jubilant Chinese to make plans to travel abroad. In response, the United States and several other countries announced they would require negative Covid tests for all travellers from mainland China. “The recent rapid increase in Covid-19 transmission in China increases the potential for new variants emerging,” a senior US health official told AFP.