Staff Reporter Lahore
The government of Punjab on Saturday renewed its guidelines against Covid-19, deciding to set up special counters at places frequented by people, such as wedding halls, cinemas and hotels, to check Covid-19 vaccination certificates of visitors.
“Those violating the standard operating procedures will face action as per law,” said Sarah Aslam, Punjab Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary, in a statement issued on Saturday.
The provincial government also decided to establish a control room to monitor the implementation of SOPs at restaurants, wedding halls, cinemas and hotels. The new SOPs are being introduced in view of the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases countrywide.
Earlier, the NCOC had confirmed the presence of different variants of coronavirus in Pakistan, including the Delta variant, first discovered in India, the Beta variant that was first detected in South Africa, and the Alpha variant that was discovered in the United Kingdom.
Sarah Aslam also called upon all traders to ensure inoculation of their staff against the coronavirus.
Under the new directives, she said no restaurant will be allowed to operate dine-in facility after 11.59pm, while only 50 per cent occupancy will be permitted at all eateries. Similarly, no more than 200 guests will be allowed at wedding halls.
Emphasising that Covid-19 vaccines were available at inoculation centres in “sufficient quantity” across the province, the secretary urged people to get themselves vaccinated and adhere to the precautionary measures laid by the government for safety of the masses.
Meanwhile, Karachi and parts of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have reported the highest Covid-19 positivity ratio in the country as the government fears that the fourth wave of the infection began in the country on Saturday.
According to sources in National Ministry for Health, the areas in Gilgit Baltistan have witnessed over 15 percent positivity ratio with Gilgit reporting an 18.60 positivity ratio, followed by 16.50 percent in Skardu, and 5.45 percent in Diamer.
Karachi, according to the ministry sources, has reported a ratio of 14.06 percent while its adjoining city Hyderabad has a positivity ratio of 4.33 percent.
Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has reported a 12.38 percent ratio, followed by 2.41 percent in Mirpur. The federal capital has witnessed a rising trend of Covid-19 cases with a ratio of 5.76 percent.