ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, on Wednesday, issued new coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) including broader lockdown, market timings, Taraweeh prayers, and public transport. A special meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) chaired by Chairman NCOC Asad Umar held here to review situation of the coronavirus in the country and religious activities during Ramazan.
The NCOC has decided to implement “broader lockdowns”, with stringent enforcement protocols where no mobility allowed except in emergency situations. The NCOC decided that Saturdays and Sundays will be observed as closed days at the national level.
Market timings will be from sehri till 6pm. The new business hours will not be applicable on essential sevices such as groceries, medical stores, and petrol pumps.
All indoor and outdoor activities banned, including social, cultural, political, sports, and other miscellaneous events.
Outdoor dining will be allowed from iftar till midnight, example 11:59pm, with strict SOPs, while takeaways will be allowed.
In addition to the complete closure of cinemas and shrines, the NCOC announced amusement parks, too, will remain closed.
Taraweeh prayers should be organised in open spaces as far as possible.
Civil administration at every tier to engage ulemas and community leaders for assistance in the enforcement of COVID-19 SOPs during Ramzan.
The NCOC decided to ban inter-provincial transport on two closed days (Saturdays and Sundays), which will continue to be enforced till midnight April 25-26. However, it said the decision will be reviewed on April 20th. The NCOC also announced to continue with the 50 percent work from home policy for all public and private offices, where intercity public transport is to operate at 50 percent of capacity.
Stringent protocols for tourism have been imposed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and tourist sites elsewhere.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021