NCOC relaxes coronavirus-related restrictions in eight cities

Asad Umar warns of stricter curbs on unvaccinated people after October 1

By: News Desk
Published: 03:16 PM, 29 Sep, 2021
NCOC relaxes coronavirus-related restrictions in eight cities
Caption: Asad Umar and Faisal Sultan address teh media.
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Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who is also the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) chief, on Wednesday said that the NCOC had decided to relax the restrictions imposed in view of the coronavirus pandemic in eight cities of the country from October 1, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In a tweet, he said the restrictions had been eased in Quetta, Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit and Skardu following large number of residents of these cities got themselves vaccinated against the pandemic. “However, in the remaining cities, including Lahore, where not many people had received the coronavirus vaccine, the restrictions will stay until October 15,” he disclosed.

At the same time, however, the minister warned of stricter restrictions on those not receiving the vaccine after October 1. “Similarly, the restrictions will also remain stricter in the cities where the ratio of people receiving the jabs is less,” he warned. “The best way to keep oneself safe from the pandemic is vaccine,” he underscored.

Later addressing a press conference, NCOC chief Asad Umar appealed to the people of the cities where the restrictions will remain in place to ask their elected representatives as well as administrators as to why their cities had not met the vaccination target so that they could avail relaxation in restrictions. “When people will together make the demand, the administrators of these cities will also try to meet the target,” he hoped.  

Regarding changes in terms of easing of restrictions in eight cities after October 1, the minister said earlier 200 people were allowed to gather in these cities. “Now the number has been extended to 300,” he informed.

“As far as outer congregations in these cities are concerned, now the gathering of 1, 000 people will be allowed,” he said, and added, “Previously, 400 people were allowed.”    

Similarly, he added, shrines in the country had to be closed in the country since it was feared that the virus could spread in these areas due to the convergence of a large number of people. “Now shrines in these eight cities have been opened for the devotees,” he said, adding at the same time the provincial as well as the district administrations would try to check that only those people could enter these places who were fully vaccinated. 

“Similarly cinemas would also be opened in all these cities on October 1,” the minister said, and added, “The restaurants, too, will remain open for seven days a week.”

Likewise, Asad added, ceremonies in wedding halls would be allowed seven days a week in these cities

“Previously there was a ban on taking meals during flights due to the pandemic. Only drinking water was allowed. Now this ban is going to be lifted on October 1. Because after October 1 only those people over the age of 18 will be allowed to travel by air who have received two doses of the vaccine. People under the age of 18 will, however, be able to travel even if they have received one jab. But only till October 31. Afterwards, two jabs will be made mandatory,” he elaborated.

He said the government’s vaccination drive had been successful. “Eight crore vaccination doses have been administered by now,” he said, adding 3 crore, 60 lacs people had received one dose while two crore 77 lacs people had been completely vaccinated.  

“Few months ago, we had set the target of vaccinating 7 crore Pakistanis by December 31,” he added.

NCOC chief said it would be the government’s endeavor to speed up the vaccination drive in October.

In the end, he warned the people to get fully vaccinated; otherwise different restrictions will be placed on them after October 1.