PRGMEA wants COVID-19 vaccine certificate for exporters

By: News Desk      Published: 10:13 PM, 16 Mar, 2021
PRGMEA wants COVID-19 vaccine certificate for exporters

The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has suggested the government 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 the corona centres across the country can issue the vaccine certificate 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 the post-corona age, this kind of health certificate is going to be mandatory for frequent travellers, 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 a certificate to the vaccinated person, having details like date of vaccination, the origin of vaccination and passport number to avoid any hurdle in obtaining a visa and foreign travelling,” the 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 traveller’s health information. He said that amidst the third wave of the 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 the 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 a vaccination program for the senior citizens which is an 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 labour is must for uninterrupted operation of the local as well as export industries,” he added.