KARACHI: Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong summoned former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal House, Tuesday. PPPP Vice President Sherry Rehman was also present.
The Ambassador was accompanied by Defense Attache Major General Chen Wen Rong, Consul General Karachi Li Bijian and other diplomats who exchanged views with the PPP leadership on areas of mutual cooperation and longstanding brotherly relations between the two neighboring countries and the two political parties. . PPP and CPC (Chinese Communist Party).
Zardari and Bilawal thanked the Chinese government for launching the CPEC project and providing vaccines to prevent COVID-19. The two sides agreed to build this strong relationship over the three generations of PPP and CPC.
New Zealanders have reportedly been offered a false negative Covid-19 test result certificate in an attempt to comply with the Government’s pre-departure testing regime.
And the regime is being questioned by experts, who agree that it is not functioning the way it should.
Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said officials were checking the system, as more people tested positive for Covid-19 on their first day in managed isolation, even though it had produced negative results abroad.
Although the overhaul of the system may prove difficult, as it relies on the Covid-19 testing capabilities of other countries, this is “the most important measure for New Zealand,” according to one expert.
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This was when University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles revealed that he had been notified of someone being offered a false negative pre-departure test certificate for a fee.
This led him and epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker to raise questions about the effectiveness of the pre-departure testing system.
The pre-departure rules, which came into effect in late January, aim to “better protect New Zealand from Covid-19,” said Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins at the time.
The rules mean a returnee must show a negative Covid-19 test certificate to come to New Zealand.
They were announced at the same time as the expansion of the managed isolation testing regime, under which nearly all returnees will receive a 0/1 day test.
According to Ministry of Health data, a large number of people who returned positive results for Covid-19 upon returning to New Zealand did so on day 0/1.
According to Wiles, this data tells two stories.
The first is that the Government is right to introduce the 0/1 day test rule.
“It’s clear from the number of positive 0/1 day tests we got that their introduction is a good idea,” said Wiles.
But the data also show that the pre-departure testing regime is not working as expected.
“For those who test negative, it just tells us they were negative at the time of testing,” said Wiles.
“That doesn’t mean they aren’t incubating the virus or won’t be infected in the time between their tests and arriving in New Zealand.”
And there’s another problem: fake test results.
“I’m sure unscrupulous people will also offer false negative pre-departure test certificates for a fee.
“Someone contacted me to inform me that their relative had been offered in France but was turned down.”
Baker said the government needed to do more work to improve the pre-departure system, given how important it was to New Zealand’s Covid-19 defense.
“Finding ways to manage this risk is perhaps the most important action for New Zealand, in terms of managing Covid.”
There are several ways that can be done, he said.
For example, returnees could be asked to sign a statement saying that they had been in isolation for a week prior to their departure and that they had regularly worn a mask.
In announcing his policy of pre-departure testing, Hipkins said: “It is important to remember that this will not stop Covid-19 from entering New Zealand.
“We will still see people show up at the border who later test positive – our goal is to reduce the number of people arriving with Covid-19.”
Nonetheless, Bloomfield told reporters on Friday that the Government was examining a pre-departure testing regime.
Although “very few” people return to New Zealand without evidence of pre-departure testing, he said the nature and reliability of the tests vary around the world.
But it’s something that’s always assumed and, therefore, that’s why the 0/1 day test rule was enforced.
He said the Government did not specifically look at one country’s pre-departure testing regime because officials did not have all the information on different testing approaches.
“But we’re really taking, at face value, a valid certification from the fact that someone is undergoing a pre-departure test, which does require fairly specific information.”
Testing data shows some countries clearly have significantly worse pre-departure testing regimes than others.
India, for example, has a particularly poor track record with around 40 people testing positive for Covid-19 on day 0/1 upon their return to New Zealand since the pre-departure rules came into effect.
The figure was even higher when the 3rd day test was taken into account.
Unfortunately, there appears to be little New Zealand that can do about the flawed pre-departure system, said Wiles.
“In an ideal world, we would watch where people get tested so we know the results are reliable, and we have the facilities to isolate people before they board the plane to minimize the chance of getting infected in transit.”
But it is effectively moving the MIQ system offshore, Wiles said.
“We know how difficult it is to run the system here in New Zealand so the idea that we can outsource overseas is completely impractical.”
As part of efforts to make the ‘Haq Do Karachi Ko’ rally a success, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) delegation on Wednesday met with leaders from various religious groups and seminaries, and invited them to attend the rally on March 28.
The JI delegation was led by the party leader in Karachi, Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman. They met with the leaders of the Sindh Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), including Allama Baqir Abbas Zaidi, and invited them to attend the rally.
In a meeting held at Wahdat Building, MWM provincial office, the leaders of the two parties discussed the current political situation in the country, particularly in Karachi. The head of the JI city said there were many problems in the city but the ruling political parties in the province and the Center were not interested in solving them. “We came to you in the hope that you will be with us,” Naeem asked the MWM leaders.
Zaidi said the city appears defenseless at the moment and no one is in charge of the city. “We support JI in all matters and will attend the rally to solve the problems facing the townspeople,” he said.
The JI delegation also met separately with school principal Darul Uloom Naeemia and prominent cleric Mufti Muneeb Ur Rehman, son of school principal Jamia Binori Abdul Razzaq Sikandar, Dr Muhamamd Saeed and principal of Jamiat Sataria Hafiz Muhammad Salafi, and invited them to attend the JI rally for Karachi rights.
Announcing their support for the JI campaign for Karachi rights, the clerics warned that federal and provincial government policies for the country’s business capital would cause suffering for the masses and could lead to a national disaster.
They also called on citizens to join the JI campaign for Karachi rights, saying thirty million Karachi people could get their rights only through collective struggle. Mufti Muneeb said Karachi’s infrastructure had been destroyed due to miscalculations of the city’s population and a lack of resources. “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has won a seat from Karachi but is not ready to give the city rights yet,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of JI Karachi asked the residents of Karachi to attend a rally for their rights because the rulers were not sincere with them. “City roads are damaged with overflowing sewers and piles of trash seen everywhere. There are no adequate public transportation facilities for the community, “he said. “The Pakistan People’s Party and the Qaumi-Pakistan Muttahida Movement have destroyed Karachi while the PTI for the past 30 months has done nothing for the city,” he added.
MULTAN: Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Sirajul Haq said the city’s giant gathering had sent a message that the masses only want an Islamic system, which is the solution to all their problems.
Speaking at a major rally at Chungi No. 9 on Sunday, he emphatically said no general or feudalist had made Pakistan and that it emerged on the basis of ideology. He said the country would become an Islamic state by all means, adding that it requires prosperity, progress and justice.
He claims their rule will protect minorities and there will be no room for oppressors in Islamic Pakistan. JI Ameer said the country does not need a tsunami or biryani. Ras Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq have come to power and such a corrupt mafia has betrayed Pakistani ideology. He said in the current system the dogs of the rich eat goat meat and those that do not forage in the trash. If a poor person’s child gets a degree, he or she has no chance of getting a job, he added.
Siraj says he doesn’t believe in such a system of oppression. State hospitals don’t care for the poor, he added. He said what promises were fulfilled by the PTI government. The whole system is based on fraud, he said, adding, “Imran Khan didn’t keep one promise”. He promised 10 million jobs for young people. The government cannot run on lies. He said even today people don’t know who is in charge of federal capitals.
The innocent prime minister said when the rupee’s value fell, it was known from the TV. After 1100 days, the prime minister said nothing would change in five years. He said the government still did not have a cure for the third wave of coronavirus. The PDM is made up of the same leaders who have been tried by the people in the past, he added. The PTI and PDM are working on the agenda of the US and the IMF’s slaves, he further added.