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Polio spread: WHO imposes travel restriction on Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation has imposed 'conditional' travel ban on Pakistani citizens over polio spread in the country, ARY News reported Monday.

The WHO said Pakistanis will be required to produce ‘polio vaccination certificate’ before travelling abroad, 

The UN agency’s International Health Regulations’ (IHR) Emergency Committee had already warned Pakistan over its failure to completely check the spread of virus as more and more cases were being reported from across the country every day.

Sources said Pakistan registered more polio cases than Nigeria and Afghanistan that prompted conditional ban on Pakistanis on travelling abroad. 

According to the WHO, Pakistan, Cameroon, and the Syrian Arab Republic pose the greatest risk of further wild poliovirus exportations in 2014. These States should officially declare, if not already done, at the level of head of state or government, that the interruption of poliovirus transmission is a national public health emergency.

It said the aforementioned states should ensure that all residents and long-term visitors (i.e. > 4 weeks) receive a dose of OPV or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) between four weeks and 12 months prior to international travel.

The statement said, "At end-2013, 60% of polio cases were the result of international spread of wild poliovirus, and there was increasing evidence that adult travellers contributed to this spread. During the 2014 low transmission season there has already been international spread of wild poliovirus from 3 of the 10 States that are currently infected: in central Asia (from Pakistan to Afghanistan), in the Middle East (Syrian Arab Republic to Iraq) and in Central Africa (Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea)."




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