The Federal Government has announced new coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, including schools and restaurants to remain closed amid rising number of cases during the third wave of infections throughout the country.
The decisions were made in the meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by all chief ministers and head of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar.
Schools to remain closed until Eid-ul-FItr
It was decided that schools will remain closed in cities with positivity ratio above 5 percent until Eid-ul-Fitr, including classes 9 through 12 to control the rising number of infections during the third wave of the deadly disease.
Earlier, the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Government announced the reopening of schools across districts with high coronavirus positivity ratio for classes 9 through 12 so that students can prepare for their board exams.
Furthermore, the markets will stay open till 6pm only while essential businesses will be allowed to operate later. It is pertinent to mention that a list of these ‘essential businesses’ will be issued by the government.
Restaurants only allowed takeaway and delivery
Meanwhile, the restaurants will only be allowed to operate takeaway and delivery services with outdoor and indoor dining completely banned until Eid-ul-Fitr.
It was also announced that indoor gyms will remain closed as well and offices will operate with just 50 percent capacity and follow the 50 percent work from home policy issued earlier in order to keep the coronavirus cases under control.
Prime Minister urges public to follow SOPs
The Prime Minister while briefing media about decisions taken by the NCC regarding rising number of coronavirus infections urged public to follow SOPs otherwise more restrictions will be imposed, including a complete lockdown in cities with a high positivity ratio.
Furthermore, the prime minister said that the Pakistan Army is being called in to help with enforcement of coronavirus SOPs to curb the rising number of cases during the third wave of infections.
Asad Umar while talking alongside the premier said that Pakistan has already utilized 90 percent of its oxygen supply capacity and while efforts are being made to ramp up supply, the public must ensure implementation of SOPS.