Pakistan has ‘removed’ several UK reservations on COVID data in bid to exit red list: info minister

Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: The government has “removed” several reservations of the UK on the Pakistan’s COVID data, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said Tuesday, as the country seeks to exit Britain’s travel red list.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan spoke at length about Pakistan’s coronavirus testing mechanism with Britain’s chief medical scientist, Chaudhry said, as he addressed a post-cabinet meeting media briefing.
“We hope the British government will review its policy,” he added.
Pakistan was retained on the red list, in the latest review of the country’s travel ban, despite a diplomatic offensive by several top government officials.
The British government said that it had decided to keep Pakistan on the travel ban red list because the true number of COVID-19 cases are likely much higher than reported across the country, a leaked letter written by Britain’s health minister revealed.
Revival of cinema
A proposal was presented to the federal cabinet for non-Indian Punjabi films to be screened in Pakistan for the cinema industry’s revival, the information minister said.
The federal cabinet, giving its feedback, determined that permission to import all foreign movies except Indian should be given, the information minister said, adding that his ministry would present an amended proposal soon.
“In the proposal, we will seek permission to allow foreign movies in Pakistan. In the 70’s we had 780 cinemas which have been cut down to 78, so if we don’t take immediate steps for the film and cinema industry’s revival, it will collapse.”
The information minister said practical steps had been taken and a package for the film and cinema industry would be announced next week.
Remdesivir’s price lowered
Briefing the media about other decisions taken during the cabinet meeting, he said the price of Remdesivir — a drug used to treat patients with COVID-19 — had been lowered from Rs5,680 to Rs3,967.
‘Inept, incompetent
Opposition’
Chaudhry said a detailed discussion was held on electoral reforms, with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, and Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Amin ul Haq giving detailed briefings to the cabinet in this regard.