Schools closed, inter-city transport banned amid Covid surge


Additional NPIs to be implemented: NCOC

Staff Reporter

Amid the latest surge in Covid-19 cases, the National Command and Operation Centre announced on Friday new restrictions to stem spread of the viral disease.

In a briefing to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, said the new restrictions will be imposed in cities where Covid-19 cases have risen lately.

The restrictions will remain in place from September 4 to 12 to slow the spread of the disease.

All educational institutions will remain closed in these cities with a ban on inter-city transport and indoor as well as outdoor gatherings. Only outdoor weddings will be allowed with 300 guests.

The cities where the new restrictions will be imposed include Punjab’s Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Sargodha, Khushab, Sheikhupura Mianwali, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Faisalabad, Bakkar, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Multan, and Bahawalpur and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Haripur, Malakand, Mansehra, Swabi, DI Khan, Swat, Abbottabad, and Peshawar.

Punjab Minister for Education Murad Raas said on Friday that all public and private schools of the province will remain closed from September 6 to September 11 in view of the current Covid-19 situation.

“All Public and Private Schools of Punjab to be closed from September 6th to September 11th, 2021 due to Covid-19 conditions,” said the minister on Twitter.

“Please stay home and stay safe. Protect yourself and your families,” Raas added.
Punjab, during the last 24-hour period, reported 1,368 Covid cases and 20 more deaths due to the virus.

According to provincial health secretary Imran Sikandar Baloch, eight deaths were reported from Lahore during the period. He said that active cases in Punjab now total 24,650, adding that the tally of the positive cases in the province stood at 397,695.

He further said that till date, at least 11,977 have succumbed to the virus in the province and around 361,068 patients have recovered.

The official informed that positivity ratio in the province is currently at 6.1 per cent, adding specific SOPs have been issued for various sectors.

He also urged the public to take strict precautions and get vaccinated, terming it the only and effective solution against the virus.

Meanwhile, the National Command and Operations Centre on Friday decided to implement additional non-pharmaceutical interventions in selected districts from September 4 to September 12 in an effort to ease the growing pressure on the national
health care system and curb the spread of Covid-19.

During the meeting, participants reviewed NPIs for selected districts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

The additional NPIs would also be implemented in Haripur, Malakand, Mansehra, Swabi, DI Khan, Swat, Abbottabad, Peshawar and Islamabad.

Earlier, the federal government made Covid-19 vaccination obligatory for any service member after the number of hospitalisation of patients infected with the coronavirus reached the highest level in the country.

The planning minister had said the Indian-origin ‘Delta’ variant of coronavirus, which is fuelling the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic in the country, spread faster than other variants.

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