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February 24, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Pakistan eases Covid-19 curbs for inbound passengers
• In a revised health protocol and travel advisory, Pakistan has abolished the requirement of a negative PCR test for all fully vaccinated, inbound passengers.
• The decision taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) while reviewing the coronavirus situation across the country on Wednesday will be implemented from February 23, 2022 (today).
• According to an NCOC statement, pre-boarding negative PCR requirement has been abolished for fully vaccinated inbound travellers.
• However, non-vaccinated individuals over 12 years of age will require a valid pre boarding negative PCR test to travel to the country. The validity of a 72-hour period will be calculated from the time the sample had been collected by laboratory.
2. Set to meet Putin, PM Imran walks a tightrope
• At a time when the world`s eyes are glued to events unfolding on the Russia-Ukraine border, and with the US-led Western powers slamming the Kremlin, Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 23, 2022 arrived in Moscow on a two-day official visit.
• The PM was greeted by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov upon his arrival. The PM was also presented a guard of honour. He is expected to meet President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (today).
• The last Pakistani premier to visit Russia was Nawaz Sharif in March 1999, while former president Asif Ali Zardari came to Moscow in 2011.
3. Drap starts online import, export management system
• The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) on February 23, 2022 launched online import and export management system under which real time monitoring and data management of medicines would become possible.
• Talking to Dawn, Drap Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Asim Rauf said the online import and export management system would address all issues related to availability of medicines.
• `We will be able to check, anytime, what quantity of medicine is available in the country and how many consignments are in the pipeline. Manual entries of medicines have been totally banned due to which data will be available on one click,` he said.
4. Free meal programme launched in 100 primary schools
• Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday inaugurated the free lunch programme in 100 primary schools of the federal capital.
• He launched the programme by providing free meal to students in a school in F-6. All schoolchildren in 100 primary schools that fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will be provided the meal.
• Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the meal was being provided in collaboration with the Allah Walay Trust
5. Govt secures $47.55bn foreign loans in 43 months
• Struggling with current account challenges and foreign exchange reserves, the PT I government borrowed more than $12 billion from abroad in the first seven months of the current fiscal year (7MFY22), almost 81 per cent higher than foreign loans it secured in comparable period last year.
• The monthly report of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) on foreign inflows showed that the government crossed almost 86pc of the target for foreign assistance set for the whole fiscal year.
• This does not include more than $1.2bn of foreign debt in Naya Pakistan Certificates from overseas Pakistanis which are not reported by the MEA. This also does not include about more than $1bn secured from the International Monetary Fund which flowed early this month
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