The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday decided to ease restrictions imposed to contain disease spread during the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic and allowed vaccinated individuals to attend indoor activities on a limited scale.
An NCOC special session was chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, co-chaired by National Coordinator Lieutenant General Hamood uz Zaman Khan. SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan also participated in the meeting.
The forum took detailed stock of prevailing Covid-19 situation prevailing across the country. It decided to allow business centers to remain open till 10pm whereas essential businesses including petrol pumps, medical stores, etc, would be allowed to stay open 24/7. The revised guidelines would come into force from July 1, 2021.
The forum has allowed outdoor dining along with indoor dining with 50% sitting capacity. The indoor dining revival has been made conditioned to vaccinated individuals as only inoculated people will be given access to indoor dining. The Forum directed that the hotel and restaurant management should devise a plan to check vaccination certificates of individuals entering their premises.
The forum gave permission for outdoor and indoor weddings. The outdoor wedding ceremonies were permitted to accommodate up to 400 people. Moreover, for indoor dining, up to 200 vaccinated people would be able to attend the ceremony.
The forum decided to allow opening up of cinemas and shrines with strict Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safety protocols. It maintained ban on all indoor cultural, religious, and musical gatherings. There was also ban on contact sports activities particularly wrestling, boxing martial arts etc, the Forum decided. However, vaccinated persons were permitted indoor gym facility. All public and private departments have been allowed to call 100% staff on duty with routine working hours, it added.
The forum also decided to allow public transport and railways with 70% passenger capacity. It maintained that a separate policy would be issued for tourism sector.
Meanwhile, the national tally on Monday of total active Covid-19 cases was recorded at 32,225 as 914 more people tested positive for the deadly virus and 910 recovered from the disease. Twenty patients died during the past 24 hours, 19 of whom were under treatment in hospitals and one in their respective quarantines or homes, according to the latest update issued by the NCOC. Most of the deaths occurred in Punjab and Sindh, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Out of the total 20 deaths occurred, 11 of them were under treatment on ventilators.
There are 1,961 Covid infected patients under treatment in critical condition with 20 of them admitted on Monday in various Covid-dedicated healthcare facilities of the country. The national Covid positivity ratio has been recorded at 2.05 percent.
The maximum ventilators are occupied in four major cities including Islamabad 24 percent, Peshawar 19 percent, Bahawalpur 22 percent and Multan 27 percent. The maximum oxygen beds are occupied in four major cities of Gilgit 42 percent, Rawalpindi 17 percent, Karachi 25 percent and Muzaffarabad 19 percent. Around 258 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country while no Covid-affected person is on ventilator in Balochistan, and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).