Enforce SOPs strictly


THE rapid spread of new variant of the Covid-19, called Omicron, has forced the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to issue directions to the provinces for closure of educational institutions for at least one week in areas with high positivity rate.

In a statement on Friday, the NCOC said Covid testing in educational institutions was carried out in major Omicron-hit cities to ascertain disease spread among students and ensure accurate disease mapping and the data suggested a strong correlation between vaccination levels and infection rate in various cities.

Based on the findings, the Government has taken the logical decision to go for aggressive testing in schools and other educational institutes for the next two weeks, especially in high disease prevalence cities.

Presently, students above 12 years of age are being vaccinated, which means small children are vulnerable to the threat, and therefore, the decision to close educational institutions for one week is understandable.

Academic activities picked up pace only recently and closure of schools ahead of annual examinations would harm academic career of the students but health and security remain the foremost concern.

The vaccination campaign is moving ahead satisfactorily but the virus is still spreading rapidly mainly because of the non-compliance of the SOPs – wearing of masks, sanitization and social distancing.

It is because of non-cooperative attitude of the general public as well as businesses that restrictions have been imposed on all types of indoor gatherings, including dine-in and wedding and all types of contact sports in the districts and cities where the Covid-19 positivity rate exceeded 10%.

Fresh SOPs have also been issued for mosques and worship places across the country under which only vaccinated individuals are allowed to offer prayer in mosques or worship places while wearing face masks has been declared mandatory.

The worshippers will be required to maintain a social distance of at least six feet and mosques have been asked to remove mats and carpets from their premises.

As all these precautions are aimed at checking the spread of the virus and save health and life of the people, it is the responsibility of every citizen to extend a helping hand in their implementation for their own sake and that of others.


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