New corona guidelines for Ramadan issued
Muslims offer Taraweeh prayers at a mosque in Karachi.–AFP
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday released a new set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to mitigate the adverse effects of the third wave of coronavirus.
A special meeting of NCOC was chaired for this by Asad Umar on Tuesday.
Given the alarming surge in coronavirus cases, the forum decided to implement “broader lockdowns”, with stringent enforcement protocols where no mobility will be allowed except in emergency situations.
Saturdays and Sundays will be observed as closed days at the national level, read the notification issued by the coronavirus monitoring body.
NCOC issues NPIs for Ramazan ul Mubarak. Please follow SOPs to stay safe! pic.twitter.com/GUYjhzUQIZ— NCOC (@OfficialNcoc) April 13, 2021
All outdoor, indoor activities banned
All indoor and outdoor activities, including social, cultural, political, sports, and other miscellaneous events, will be banned.
“Outdoor dining will be allowed from iftar till midnight, example 11:59pm, with strict SOPs, while takeaways will be allowed,” the notification read.
In addition to the complete closure of cinemas and shrines, NCOC announced amusement parks, too, will remain closed.
Ban on inter-provincial transport
NCOC decided to ban inter-provincial transport on two closed days (Saturdays and Sundays) which will continue to be enforce till midnight April 25-26.
However, it said the decision will be reviewed on April 20.
Market timings will be from sehri till 6pm.
For taraweeh prayers, NCOC said that it should be organised in open spaces as far as possible.
The forum called for civil administration at every tier to engage ulemas and community leaders for assistance in the enforcement of COVID-19 SOPs during Ramadan.
50% work from home policy
NCOC also announced to continue with the 50% work from home policy for all public and private offices, where intercity public transport is to operate at 50% of capacity.
Stringent protocols for tourism have been imposed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir and tourist sites elsewhere.
“Sentinel testing sites at every point/selected locations will be established," the notification read.