After lifting ban on meetings of relatives with jail inmates a few days back, the authorities have initiated return of prisoners shifted to other jails from Lahore, symbolising restoration of normalcy.
The decision has been taken after smart sampling of at least 1,030 people including staff members as well inmates. At least 45 samples were taken from the Lahore Camp Jail and 30 from the district jail. All these tests were reported to be negative.
Further, the government has made the decision to allow conducting majalis and processions during Muharram with strict adherence to standard operating procedures. In a statement, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noorul Haque Qadri said the government has decided to allow majalis and processions during Muharram, adding that SOPs have been formulated and will be sent to provinces after approval by the National Command and Operation Centre. The government has, however, expressed its concerns of another wave of infections because of the upcoming Eidul Azha. A special set of SOPs has been prepared by the federal government so that the infection rate is controlled and the “previous mistakes are not repeated”. The government of each province has also prepared precautionary measures for people to implement while visiting cattle markets to purchase their sacrificial animal. People aged above 50 and children are not allowed to visit.
Sanitisation and hand watching facilities have been installed inside markets and no one is allowed to enter without masks. Violations will result in fines. The National Disaster Management Authority has dispatched the 11th consignment of personal protective equipment for doctors and paramedical staff who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic. About 64,000 surgical and N95 masks have been dispatched to Balochistan, while 29,395 protective suits and 37,000 gowns have also been sent. Pakistan reported 2,085 new infections in the 24-hour period, taking the nationwide tally to 261,169. According to the national dashboard, there are 111,238 cases in Sindh, 89,023 in Punjab, 31,486 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11,385 in Balochistan, 14,454 in Islamabad, 1,775 Gilgit-Baltistan and 1,808 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The country also recorded 49 fatalities in the last 24 hours taking the nationwide death toll to 5,505. Sindh has reported 1,170 new coronavirus cases and 30 deaths during the past 24 hours, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. In a statement, he said 10,299 tests were carried out during the last 24 hours. Sindh police said that 2,515 officials have been infected with the coronavirus so far. Punjab recorded 484 new virus cases and eight new deaths, according to the government’s Covid-19 portal on Friday. The provincial tally is now 89,023 while the death toll is 2,059. The number of recovered cases in Punjab has reached 64,815. At least 269 Covid-19 cases emerged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 31,486. According to KP health officials, four more lives were lost in the province, which was the lowest death toll since May.