In this photograph taken on April 26, 2018, Pakistani airport staff walk through the new Islamabad International Airport ahead of its official opening on the outskirts of Islamabad. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has officially openend Islamabad's new international airport. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

In a strategic move to curb the potential spread of the JN1 variant of the coronavirus, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has announced its decision to conduct mandatory COVID testing for 2% of passengers arriving from abroad.

This proactive measure aims to safeguard the country against the new variant, which has been causing concerns worldwide, according to officials from the National Institute of Health.

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To enforce this directive, 2% of incoming passengers will undergo compulsory COVID testing at the airports, utilizing rapid diagnostic kits provided by the National Institute of Health. Notably, the majority of major airports in the country currently lack sufficient COVID-19 diagnostic kits.

As of now, Pakistan has not reported any cases of the new Covid-19 variant, JN1. However, the introduction of this advisory is expected to intensify pressure on hospital OPDs and wards, as authorities remain vigilant in their efforts to maintain public health.