LONDON: Labour Member of Parliament and Chair, APPG Pakistan, Yasmin Qureshi and Conservative MP Rehman Chishti have once again drawn the attention of Sajid Javid MP, Department of Health and Social Care towards ‘Red List’ which Pakistani diaspora considers very painful and demands to remove their country from the list.
In a letter dated 10th September, they mentioned that they recently wrote to him regarding Pakistan’s place on the red list, with a response from Lord Bethell. He (Lord Bethell) in his response outlined high positivity rates and low levels of genome sequencing in Pakistan. We would therefore like to address some of the points he raised.
Ms. Yasmin Qureshi and Mr. Rehman Chishti said that as you (Sajid Javid MP) will know, Dr Faisal Sultan addressed these and other issues in a robust meeting with ten members of the Joint Biosecurity Council (JBC), hosted by the British High Commissioner in Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner. Dr Sultan outlined the policy positions the Pakistan Government has taken to control the pandemic and also reassured the JBC on the Pakistan Government’s statistical collation.
“In his letter, Lord Bethell referenced the impact of positivity rates in Pakistan, and the fact that they remain a point of concern to the UK Government. The most recent data suggests that the positivity rates in Pakistan were much lower than those of neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Iran, which have rates between 18-30%.
“It is also worth adding that genome sequencing judges Pakistan on the future, with an unknown variant. I understand that the Pakistani scientists outlined their approach to genome sequencing on Monday, which I hope has allayed fears. It is also worth adding that countries on the green list, such as the USA, only use genome sequencing on 2% of their positive cases.
They also said that as you may be aware, other Governments around the world have taken the proportionate step to remove Pakistan from their respective red lists, including our neighbours Ireland (who have opted for a home quarantine system) as well as countries such as Romina, Spain, and the UAE.
In light of the meeting on Monday and the above information, we hope at the earliest convenience you are able to change Pakistan’s travel status.