THE National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday announced the lifting of a number of restrictions imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus in the country, including the staggered reopening of educational institutions in districts where the positivity rate is less than five per cent and resumption of outdoor dining.
It also decided to reopen the tourism sector from May 24 and that all matric and intermediate exams will be held after June 20.
All professional and non-professional exams will take place on a case-to-case basis as recommended by the Ministry of Education.
There are encouraging reports that the Covid-19 infections have dropped in different parts of the country due to lockdown during Eid holidays and greater cooperation of the masses in terms of wearing of masks and social distancing.
However, as the situation is still fluid, some restrictions would understandably stay including closure of shrines, cinemas, amusement parks and indoor gyms; ban on indoor dining as well as indoor and outdoor gatherings; and suspension of inter-provincial transport on weekends.
Though the Covid-19 related curbs are badly affecting the socio-economic activities and livelihoods of the people, there was no other choice but to return to normalcy in a staggered manner in view of the fact that there were still 4,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals on oxygen.
The Government also deserves credit for expanding the vaccination campaign as registration for people aged between 30 and 40 has begun and more and more vaccination centres are being opened to facilitate people.
The vaccination campaign is picking up as there is now realization among masses that this is the only option for quicker return to normalcy.
The recent statements of British Prime Minister and health officials that vaccines are effective against all variants of the virus would surely help boost vaccination drives across the globe.
However, timely supply of doses might remain a formidable problem and the Government ought to focus more attention on procurement.