Islamabad, Mar 12 (): It is compulsory for all Pakistani nationalists to produce a proof of Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) certificate while applying for visa to travel to India after March 15.
On Tuesday, India High Commission announced in a press release that including the evidence of polio vaccination would be compulsory for all – children or adults entering its area from Pakistan after March 15 to safeguard its polio-free standing. Along with their application to visa, a vaccination certificate for one dose of Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) that was received at least 4 weeks earlier to their travel to India should be attached.
The Commission further stated that the certificate of vaccination will be given back to the applicant along with visa and it should be taken by the traveller when he travels to India. The statement further added that the layout of the vaccination certificate is similar as instructed before and is offered at the website of the High Commission of India.
Originally, the condition was thought to be implemented in Pakistan from January, but India has stretched the deadline to permit Pakistan to fix up necessary arrangement.
The High Commission of India said such steps are being taken to maintain polio-free status of India that has been attained after continued investment and efforts, adding that the rule was valid to all travellers from all other countries where the polio disease is widespread or where polio cases are reported.
The polio cases have increased in number in Pakistan. Last year, it has crossed over 90 and this year a number of new cases have been registered. Pakistan is one of the only 3 countries where polio is endemic.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif said it is an issue of grave distress that there is a risk of travel limitations being forced on Pakistanis as polio virus from Pakistan has been found connected to polio cases in other countries. He has said that efforts should be redoubled to eradicate polio from Pakistan.