US Puts Pakistan On Travel Alert List For Being Polio-Endemic Country
After the World Health Organization (WHO) travel restrictions on Pakistan, following the outbreak of vaccine-derived polio cases across the country. The United States has generated a Level 2 travel alert for polio-endemic countries including Pakistan.
According to the CDC, the polio outbreaks have been reported in eight Asian countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Philippines.
“The World Health Organization recommends that these countries require residents and long-term (four weeks or more) visitors show proof of polio vaccination before leaving the country,” reads the level 2 travel alert by the US.
According to the US travel alert 2, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC recommends that all travelers to the countries in-question be vaccinated fully against polio.
In reaction to this news, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, said on Friday that Pakistan faced a challenging year for polio eradication in 2019.
He said “As of today, 134 of our children have been paralysed by this debilitating disease,” he further added, “over 500,000 international travelers from Pakistan received polio vaccine every month prior to departure and the certificate issued in this respect was valid for 12 months.
Meanwhile, Minister of state for NHSRC Dr. Zafar Mirza said that the government was working across political divide to take the agenda forward as a shared priority in order to achieve a polio free Pakistan.