ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has taken steps for ensuring the quality assessment of the rapid PCR tests of the passengers at the country’s airports, ARY News reported on Sunday.
The NCOC issued a set of guidelines to the concerned authorities to ensure the quality assessment including the equipment and procedures of rapid PCR tests being conducted by different laboratories established at major airports in order to facilitate the passengers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) outbound flights.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) will conduct visits at the airports and carry out quality assessments of different laboratories.
The NIH has been directed to carry out duplicate sampling of every fifth of passengers going to the UAE at Islamabad airport and compare their results with the private labs’ results.
The institution will also share the analysis of the tests with the NCOC on fortnightly basis and the first report will be forwarded by October 1.
The NCOC also directed the provincial health departments of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to carry out the quality assessment of the rapid PCR tests.
On September 16, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had directed the relevant authorities to ensure quality assessment of rapid PCR tests at the country’s airports following the concerns raised by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) aviation authority.
The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had raised concerns over the authenticity of the COVID-19 rapid PCR tests at Pakistani airports after hundreds of incoming passengers tested positive for the virus upon arrival.
Following the UAE’s concerns, the NCOC had directed the health ministry, foreign ministry and the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) to take measures and monitoring mechanisms to validate rapid PCR tests at airports.
The centre had also ordered the relevant authority to take notice of those laboratories compromising the qualitative COVID-19 testing.
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