Islamabad, Jul 12 (EFE).- The government of Pakistan announced on Monday that only people vaccinated against Covid-19 would be allowed to carry out tourist activities in a measure aimed at speeding up immunization among a reluctant population.
The measure comes less than nine days before Eid al-Adha, one of the biggest Muslim festivals, for which millions of Pakistanis travel and visit tourist places.
“Only all the people who are vaccinated can go for tourism,” Faisal Sultan, the prime minister’s special assistant on health, said in a press conference on Monday.
The country’s highest health official said that the measure was especially important keeping in mind the Eid al-Adha holidays.
As part of the measure, hotels would be required to check whether their clients possess an immunization certificate.
Sultan insisted that lack of vaccines was not a problem in Pakistan, where nearly 16 million people have received at least one dose and around four million have been fully inoculated against Covid-19. The country has been mainly using Chinese vaccines Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino.
However, the vaccination drive has progressed slower than expected among a population of 220 million.
The country has been struggling to overcome the traditional rejection of vaccination over religious issues or conspiracy theories that consider vaccination to be “anti-Islamic” and imply that it causes infertility or can result in women growing beards.
Pakistan is the only country apart from Afghanistan where polio continues to be endemic due to vaccine hesitancy.
The South Asian nation is on the verge of a fourth coronavirus wave due to the dangerous Delta variant, with cases surging in recent weeks.