THE National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday decided to enforce a number of additional non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in districts with high coronavirus prevalence in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad, including shutting down educational institutions for a week.
Under the new restrictions, all types of outdoor and indoor gatherings and intercity public transport will be banned while indoor gyms and educational institutions will remain closed.
The renewed restrictions are understandable as these have been imposed after taking a detailed stock of the current disease situation in different districts, daily hospital admissions, pressure on critical care and availability of oxygen.
The severity of the situation can be judged by the fact that the death toll of the country crossed 26,000 on Friday and more than 5,600 coronavirus patients remained admitted to critical care.
The dangerously high prevalence rate is worrisome as it comes in the wake of an otherwise successful country-wide vaccination campaign.
It has been observed that citizens are not taking precautionary measures seriously especially after receiving doses of vaccines under the impression that they are totally immune to the virus, which is not the case.
Vaccination surely reduces the risks but does not eliminate them and therefore, apart from receiving jabs of vaccines, all citizens must observe SOPs.
It is also a matter of satisfaction that normal economic activities are taking place across the country but academic activities are receiving repeated setbacks.
No doubt, life of the children is more important but more damage to the cause of education is not acceptable.
The continuation of academic activities is possible if administration of educational institutions, parents and students cooperate in strict implementation of SOPs and the scope of the vaccination is expanded to include students.