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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 13/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Some members of the Pakistani community and travellers have said there is confusion over the World Health Organization (WHO) rule that makes poliovirus vaccines mandatory for those travelling from Pakistan. 

WHO has recommended travellers not to leave Pakistan without a vaccination or an immunisation certificate.

Pakistan, meanwhile has said that a system has been put in place for people. 

Saira Afzal Tarar, Pakistan's Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination told Muscat Daily, ''All travellers and Pakistanis travelling to Pakistan and staying here for more than four weeks and longer will need a vaccination. If the stay is short, then they don't require a vaccination.''

She added, ''We are providing vaccinations at all our international airports. International medical certificates are also available at hospitals and a lot of information is being advertised as to where these can be obtained in the country.

''We are aware that a substantial population travels to the Middle East but these governments have not approached us yet in this regard. We know this is affecting an ordinary Pakistani and therefore, we have worked out the system. So, things are in place and the plan might take less than two weeks to be effective.''

Zahida Asfand, a frequent flyer from Pakistan said, ''I often visit my husband in Oman. Until recently there was no clarity from authorities on the issue leading to confusion among travellers. We would approach travel agents for details, but they too were not in a position to explain.''

Gulshan, a handicrafts and antique importer in Qurm fears the rule might affect his business travel plans. ''I keep flying to Pakistan to pick up pieces for the market here. My stays range from a few days to several weeks. With the four-week rule on vaccination, I might have to change my plans and this could affect business.''

Farid al Jabri, an Omani, a business flyer to Pakistan says his trade will not be affected, but is unsure if he still needs to be immunised since he had received a polio vaccine as a child. ''I don't know whether I will require a vaccination. I had got it when I was young which means I am immunised.''

For urgent travel from Pakistan, at least one vaccine dose should be given before departure, according to the WHO emergency committee, which also called for providing immunisation certificates to all trave


Muscat Daily

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