Pakistan: New restrictions to be imposed in major cities amid rising COVID-19 cases

Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, new restrictions will be imposed in major cities from August 3 and will remain in place until August 31.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar announced some new restrictions in major cities of Pakistan in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, reported Geo News.

As per the announcement, indoor dining will remain banned. Outdoor dining will be allowed until 10 pm, while takeaway and restaurant delivery services will be allowed 24/7.

Shops and markets will remain closed twice a week, he said, adding that provincial governments will decide about the safe days.

Markets and shops will be closed by 8 pm instead of 10 pm; public transport will operate at 50 per cent capacity, reported Geo News.

Holding a press conference in Islamabad alongside Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, the minister said that all the decisions were taken after the approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In Punjab, restrictions will be imposed in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Multan; in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar and Abbottabad will have the new restrictions.

In Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), restrictions will be imposed in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur, while in Gilgit-Baltistan, the new rules will apply to Gilgit and Skardu.

As for Sindh, Lockdowns are already in place in Karachi and Hyderabad, but after August 8, the NCOC’s new curbs will also apply, the minister said.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan summoned a meeting on coronavirus as the pandemic spirals out of control with over 8 per cent positivity ratio being reported in the last two days.

The COVID-19 situation has worsened further in the country after Eid despite multiple warnings from the health authorities for the implementation of government-mandated safety protocols.

The meeting discussed the surge in coronavirus positive cases and deliberated upon measures to contain the spread of the Delta variant of virus in the country.

Meanwhile, data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Monday showed that at least 40 more patients of COVID-19 died overnight and 4,858 new cases emerged across the country.

According to the latest statistics of the NCOC, 56,414 COVID-19 tests were conducted across the country in the last 24 hours, of which 4,858 were confirmed to be positive.

The rate of positive cases in the country is 8.61 per cent, which is the highest positivity rate since May 17, said that official portal.

The number of deaths has risen to 23,462 and the total number of cases has reached 1,039,965. (ANI)


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