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ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday decided to allow markets and shops to remain open till 8pm from May 17 onwards.

A special session held her with Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar in the chair, reviewed the implementation of stand operating procedures (SOPs) over Eid-ul-Fitr holidays and expressed satisfaction on compliance.

The NCOC also decided that all inter-provincial, intra-city and inter-city public transport can resume from May 16 instead of the earlier decided May 17. It was further decided to continue running trains with 70pc occupancy in the country.

The forum also said that normal working hours for offices will resume from May 17, with the condition of 50pc work from home to remain in place. Advising the public to continue with the implementation of Covid-19 SOPs, the forum further urged the public to ensure vaccine registration from 1166 prior to visiting vaccination centres.

The NCOC had earlier imposed strict mobility control measures during the Eid holidays, with the objective of mitigating the spread of the pandemic.

Last week, the forum had also decided to extend the closure of all educational institutions till May 23.

Explaining the reason behind the restrictions put into effect for Eid earlier, Umar said that the government realizes restrictions put into place from today till May 16 are going to cause inconvenience.

However, he added that they have been necessitated by the extremely dangerous situation created in the region with the spread of virulent mutations of the virus.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021