The decision to keep Pakistan on the red list is political, we must see the data and scientific reasoning behind this decision. I have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps calling for it’s immediate release.
Plain text version:
Pakistan – Red List
I am writing following your most recent review of the travel restrictions, in which Pakistan was kept as a red list country while India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are to move to the amber list.
When the list system was put in place India had far higher infections than Pakistan yet was moved to the red list far later. It appears that the very same thought process has been applied to the decision not to move Pakistan from the red list.
At present, Pakistan has a rolling day average of 14 cases per 100,000. This is a lower rate of infection than India, which has 20 cases per 100,000. Yet again, Pakistan’s position in the list system is disproportional.
Politics has played too big a part in these decisions. India was not moved onto the red list when Pakistan was so that the Prime Minister could visit. This allowed 20,000 people to travel to the UK from India and has resulted in the third wave of COVID.
There appears to be little in the way of any scientific explanation to justify the decision to put Pakistan on the red list while India remained on the amber list. This appears to be the case again, with Pakistan having a lower infection rate and a higher vaccination rate than India.
I welcome all measures to protect public health. However, I am also sympathetic towards many of my constituents who have been unable to say goodbye to family members because of Pakistan being on the red list. Furthermore, those who have been able to travel have faced great difficulties returning home and booking a space in the hotel quarantine scheme. If Pakistan is being kept on the red list longer than is necessary, it is coming at a huge cost to many of my constituents.
I would therefore urge you to release the data and scientific reasoning behind these decisions. Without this information, it will be hard for many of my constituents to see this as anything other than a political decision. I would also like clarity on when a further review will take place on Pakistan’s status on the red list at the earliest possible opportunity.
Gill Furniss MP
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough