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ISLAMABAD: After sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the country in past 8 days, Pakistan recorded a total 10,735 Covid-19 cases which jumped up from 581,365 to 592,100, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday deliberated to revisit opening of schools, cinemas and indoor wedding related activities in next session.

The NCOC meeting held here under the chairmanship of Asad Umar who is also federal Minister for planning and development, the forum discussed deferring the reopening of cinemas, indoor weddings and dinning in the restaurants, which were expected to be allowed with effect from March 15.

The meeting discussed updates from the provinces on rising positivity and corresponding actions, vaccination progress, and national vaccine strategy. The participants of the meeting opined that due to rising positivity trend of the coronavirus the forum will review the modalities in next meeting to be held in the first week of April.

Umar was also flanked by National Coordinator Lieutenant General Hamooduz Zaman Khan and other relevant officials who discussed update from the provinces on rising positivity and corresponding actions, vaccination progress and national vaccine strategy where the provincial representatives participated in the meeting through video link.

The forum expressed concern over public complacency in following non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) or alternate measure to treat the disease other than medical treatment.

The forum directed the provincial administrations to ensure strict enforcement of SOPs at the grass roots level to contain the disease spread as slackness in adhering to safety guidelines would trigger the contagion outbreak.

The officials also considered deferring the opening up of cinemas, indoor weddings, and dine-in restaurants, which were expected to reopen from March 15. However, a decision in this regard has not been announced yet.

Last month, the NCOC had decided to loosen some of the coronavirus restrictions that it earlier put in place. The NCOC had added that the decisions could be reviewed again in view of increased disease prevalence, whenever deemed necessary.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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