Friday, January 27, 2023

NCOC expands COVID curbs to 27 cities of Pakistan

Strict COVID restrictions will be in place in 27 cities across the country from Sept 1

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) will extend COVID-19 restrictions to 27 cities across Pakistan from Spetmeber 1 to stem the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic, fuelled by the Indian-origin Delta variant of coronavirus.

The NCOC said that the decision to extend scope of the standard operation procedures (SOPs) from 13 to 27 cities was taken after positivity ratio spiked to double-digit, straining the local health care system.

The 27 cities, where the new SOPs would be implemented till the 13th of the next month, include Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) as well as Rawalpindi, Lahore, Khanewal, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Bahawalpur, Multan, Gujranwala, and Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province.

Other cities are Hyderabad and Karachi in Sindh; Muzaffarabad and Mirpur in Azad Jammu and Kashmir; Gilgit and Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan; Peshawar, Swat, Haripur, Mansehra, Lower Dir, Swabi, Abbottabad, Swat and Chitral Lower in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

All commercial activities, except essential services including grocery stores and pharmacies, will be suspended by 8 pm and markets in these 27 cities will be closed twice a week.

Indoor dining and gatherings, shrines, cinemas, recreational parks, and swimming pools will remain closed. Educational in schools will be allowed thrice a week with 50 percent attendance.

Public and private offices and public transport will be allowed to operate at a 50% capacity, and railways at a 70% capacity throughout the country.

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