Vaccination mandatory for staff, traders at Eidul Azha cattle markets: NCOC

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday declared Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for all staff and traders at cattle markets in instructions issued by the body for the upcoming Eidul Azha holiday.

The NCOC also urged the administration to provide hand sanitisers, masks and rapid antigen testing services on entry to the markets.

It added that cattle markets must be set up outside cities and subject to compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures. The instructions said there was a “ban on buying and selling of animals inside the city”.

Separately, the NCOC statement also gave updates on Pakistan’s inoculation campaign and said that more than 16.7 million vaccine doses had been administered. It added that “more than 830,000 vaccine [doses] were administered in June.”

It said that a team led by the director general of the NCOC also visited Gilgit-Baltistan to review the overall coronavirus situation and vaccination progress in the region. The delegation inspected vaccination centres in Gilgit, Shigar and Hunza and assured locals that the NCOC had decided to fully vaccinate the registered populations.

The statement added that a special team was also formed to stem Covid-19’s spread in GB and improve the vaccination process.

Ministry of National Health Services issues Eidul Azha guidelines

The Ministry of National Health Services also issued guidelines on Tuesday in view of the upcoming Eid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cases, advising people to undertake minimal necessary travel during Eid holidays as the “risk of a new wave was imminent”.

It said that animal markets being set up must adhere to the guidelines for social distancing and other protective measures.

The ministry advised people to prefer online buying and district administrations to allocate large enough spaces away from populated areas for animal markets. Local authorities would have to ensure every individual visiting the market wore a facemask properly (covering both the nose and mouth) at all times.

The government also made it mandatory for all animal vendors and sellers to get vaccinated with any of the currently available Covid-19 vaccines. “Those without evidence of vaccination (first dose or complete course) may not be allowed to conduct business in the market,” said the health ministry guideline.

According to the guideline, animal sellers and customers would have to maintain a safe distance of two metres besides ensuring use of gloves to touch animals. It added that any seller or worker with symptoms of cough, sore throat, fever etc. would not be allowed in the market and would be required to arrange a replacement for himself.

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