LAHORE – A native of Gujrat experienced what many people may have dreamt of, as he took a flight from Manchester to Islamabad, on which he was the only passenger to travel.
The financially strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) having the capacity of 371 passengers apart from crew, flew the flight number 9702 on Sunday with lone passenger.
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The travel to the UK by people has been reduced due to fears of new strains of COVID. Pakistan has so far confirmed two cases of the UK variant of coronavirus, which is believed to be highly transmissible.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed the presence of the highly transmissible new variant of COVID-19 amongst two individuals who had returned from the UK.
This is in follow up to preliminary reports of the existence of B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant in three persons. The cases have now been confirmed via whole-genome sequencing.
Since the emergence of the new coronavirus variant in the UK, which was reported during December 2020, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination has required all inbound passengers from the UK to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 on arrival.
It is also of note that the variant virus reported in the UK has also been detected in 31 other countries so far.
The new SARS-CoV-2 variant ID B.1.1.7, was first discovered in the United Kingdom and appears to spread. Researchers believe it may have originated in a patient who had a long-running infection.
The new strain is believed to be 70 percent more contagious, but doctors have said there is no reason yet to believe that it is more lethal or will not be controlled by a vaccine.
Pakistan, Iran, India, and Saudi Arabia including other countries have imposed travel bans on the United Kingdom after the British government officially announced the detection of the new strain of the novel virus.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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