PRGMEA wants ‘COVID-19 vaccine certificate’ to help exporters in world travelling

Lahore, March 16, 2021: The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has suggested the government to launch a ‘COVID-19 vaccination certificate’ for the vaccinated people as an ‘immunity passport’ in line with the practice of China to facilitate its citizens for international travelling.

PRGMEA Central Chairman Sohail A. Sheikh and Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar observed that Corona Centers across the country can issue the vaccine certificate to the persons who are vaccinated, showing user’s vaccination status and virus test results along with his CNIC and passport details to facilitate the business community, especially the exporters, to obtain visas and travel permit abroad.

Sohail A. Sheikh pointed out, in post-corona age, this kind of health certificate is going to be mandatory for frequent travelers, in the embassies to obtain visas, to travel abroad and for check-in hotels in other countries.

He said that China and Bahrain have already introduced a ‘vaccine passport’ while the United States and the United Kingdom are among countries also considering implementing similar permits. The European Union is also working on a ‘vaccine green pass’ that would allow citizens to travel between member countries and abroad. The certificate is being rolled out to help promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel, he added.

“We appeal Prime Minister Imran Khan to ask the federal and provincial health ministries and the Planning Commission to issue directives to all Vaccination Centres across the country to issue certificate to the vaccinated person, having details like date of vaccination, origin of vaccination and passport number etc to avoid any hurdle in obtaining visa and foreign travelling,” PRGMEA central chairman said.

Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that China’s certificate programme includes an encrypted QR code that allows authorities to obtain a traveler’s health information.

He said that amidst third wave of corona the industry will have to strictly enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. He said that the UK coronavirus strain is spreading faster in Pakistan. 

Appreciating the government vaccination program for senior citizens and healthcare staff, he called for vaccination of factory workers and their employers too for the smooth running of the industry. He said that the government had rolled out its COVID-19 vaccine campaign last month beginning with the healthcare workers in the first phase, then starting vaccination program for the senior citizens which is appreciable step and it should be completed very quickly.

“Now the priority should be also given to the factory workers and employers across Pakistan, as healthy labor is must for uninterrupted operation of the local as well as export industries,” he added. 

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