Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, his wife, and another member of his team allegedly refused to undergo Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) for coronavirus when landing at Lahore airport, violating the instruction of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

In a letter written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) headquarters in Karachi, Lahore airport chief operating officer and manager Akhtar Mirza said the Bahria Town CEO refused to give samples for the Covid-19 test. The team of airport health staff went to his residence to follow up with a test but Riaz refused to take the test.

Letter written to the CAA, regarding Malik Riaz refusing to take the Covid test

Riaz, along with four other people, landed at Lahore Airport from Dubai. After the passengers passed through the immigration process, the CAA duty staff requested Riaz and his fellows to undergo the RAT, which is a rapid diagnostic test that directly detects the presence or absence of the antigen and gives results within few minutes.

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“But they did not respond and rapidly moved towards international arrivals exit gate,” Mirza stated in the letter.

Riaz, Bina Riaz and Shahid Mahmood Qureshi, “left the airport without [the test] which is an open violation of NCOC instructions and SOPs”, the letter added.

The CAA management then contacted the government health team and Riaz’s personal staff officer to obtain the RAT samples from the property tycoon’s residence. A two-member team of airport health staff subsequently left for Riaz’s house shortly “but unfortunately once again [he] flatly refused to give samples for the requisite test.”

The letter was submitted to the airport services director at CAA Karachi headquarters for his “information and further necessary action”.

After detection of the coronavirus in some passengers arriving in Pakistan and despite them having negative PCR test results, the CAA tightened the rules regarding testing.