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NCOC deeply concerned over COVID-19 situation; directs stringent measures

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umer presided over the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Session in Islamabad on Monday.

The Chief Secretaries of all provinces attended the NCOC Session via video link.

The forum expressed grave concern over the current COVID-19 situation in the Country and unanimously agreed for the implementation of following high impact interventions in cities/districts with positivity greater than 8% (3 x days rolling average) to contain the disease spread.

In cities with positivity less than 8%, already imposed nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) will continue to be enforced based on risk assessment/disease prevalence.

  • Implementation of broader lockdowns with stringent enforcement protocols based on risk assessment. No mobility will be allowed except emergencies.
  • Closure of all type of indoor dining. However, outdoor dining permitted till 10:00 pm. Takeaways will be allowed.
  • Closure of all commercial activities (less essential services) by 8:00 pm.
  • Two safe days per week will be observed. Choice of days will be at the discretion of Federating Units.
  • Gatherings with upper limit of 300 persons will be allowed with strict adherence of COVID SOPs. However, all types of indoor gatherings involving cultural, musical/religious or miscellaneous event will be banned.
  • Complete closure of Cinemas/Shrines will continue to be enforced.
  • Complete ban on contact sports, festivals, cultural and other events.
  • Outdoor marriage functions till 10:00 pm with upper limit of 300 guests with strict adherence of COVID SOPs (event duration 2 hours only). No indoor functions will be allowed.
  • Complete closure of amusement parks, however, walking/jogging tracks will remain open with strict adherence of COVID SOPs.
  • 50% work from home policy will continue (including all public/private offices and courts).
  • Intercity public transport to operate at 50 % of capacity.
  • Rail service to operate at 70 % of capacity.
  • Compulsory mask-wearing be ensured by all federating units while incorporating innovative measures for enforcement.
  • Reduced presence at courts (City, District, High Courts, and Supreme Court).
  • Stringent protocols for tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and tourist places elsewhere. Sentinel testing sites at entry points/selected locations be established.
  • Mass media coverage highlighting punitive actions.

These high-impact interventions will be implemented forthwith and will remain enforced till April 11, 2021. The review will be carried out at the NCOC on April 7, 2021.

The review of decisions related to the Education Sector, enforced with effect from March 10, 2021 will be carried out on March 24, 2021 at the NCOC.

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