NCOC’s anti-Covid restrictions will now cover 27 cities

By: News Desk      Published: 02:09 PM, 29 Aug, 2021
NCOC’s anti-Covid restrictions will now cover 27 cities
File photo.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday decided to extend the anti-coronavirus restrictions from 13 cities to 27 cities across Pakistan amid growing cases of Covid-19 pandemic due to the presence of the Indian Delta variant and soaring pressure on hospitals, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

According to the NCOC, the decision was taken in view of the growing number of Covid-19 positive cases and the ensuing pressure on the country's healthcare system. 

The NCOC said that considering the situation, the scope of the implementation of the SOPs has been extended to 27 cities of the country. Previously, these SOPs were only applicable to 13 cities.

On August 2 last, the NCOC had revised its standard operating procedures (SOPs) for 13 cities namely Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan in Punjab; Peshawar and Abbottabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh; Islamabad; Muzaffarabad and Mirpur in Azad Kashmir; and Gilgit and Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan. The SOPs were to remain in effect from August 3 to 31. 

The NCOC has now extended the stricter coronavirus restrictions to 14 more cities including Khanewal, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala and Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab; and Swat, Haripur, Mansehra, Lower Dir, Swabi, Swat and Chitral in KP. 

According to a press release issued by the NCOC, the restrictions would entail: 

* All commercial activities — except essential services — to be closed at 8pm 

* Two days in a week to be observed as safe days with provinces free to choose

* Ban on indoor dining; outdoor dining allowed (till 10pm), takeaway and delivery will continue

* Ban on indoor wedding ceremonies; outdoor wedding ceremonies with 300 guests allowed (till 10pm)

* Ban on visiting shrines 

* Cinemas to remain closed 

* Contact sports to remain banned; indoor gyms allowed for vaccinated individuals 

* Normal working hours for public and private offices with 50 per cent staff attendance

* Public transport to operate with 50pc occupancy; rail services to operate with 70pc

* Amusement parks and swimming pools will remain closed; entry to public parks allowed subject to compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures 

* Educational institutions across the country to remain open for three days a week with 50pc attendance 

* The press release said the NCOC will conduct a review of the SOPs on September 13.

All the while Pakistan has continued its inoculation campaign against Covid-19 with the milestone of over 50 million vaccine doses administered achieved on Friday. 

See Also: Pakistan logs 69 more corona deaths, 3,909 infections in a day

At the beginning of August, the NCOC had announced revised restrictions for a limited number of cities in the country where the positivity ratio of coronavirus was higher as compared to others. Addressing a press conference to announce the revised SOPs, NCOC chief Asad Umar had said that the "targeted and staggered" decisions were taken by the government to contain the spread of the virus amid the fourth wave.

Booster jab to cost Rs1,270

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has decided to administer a third but paid Covid-19 vaccine booster to people travelling abroad.

The ministry has decided to administer the third paid booster to the individuals for submission of Rs1,270. The notification said that in pursuance of NCOC’s decision taken in its meeting held on 24th August, 2021, additional vaccination to travellers will be administered at selected public corona vaccination centres  (CVCs) on payment.

The fee of the booster dose of vaccines shall be Rs1,270 per dose. It also said that the payment for the vaccination can be deposited in all branches of the National Bank of Pakistan in the Head of Account: C-Non—Tax Revenue, CO2-Receipts from Civil Administration and other functions, CO2721-Sale proceeds of sera and vaccines.