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ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has granted permission to the provinces to begin regular classes of matriculation and intermediate students from May 31.

A series of decisions were taken in a session of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) under the chair of Asad Umar and Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan attended the session through video link. During the session, the participants mulled over the corona virus situation, implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and ongoing vaccination campaign across the country.

The NCOC members expressed satisfaction over the steps regarding the pandemic situation in Pakistan; however, they showed concerns over the rise of Covid-19 cases in Sindh province.

The centre said that the education authorities are consistently adopting measures to resume academic activities in a safe environment. The vaccination of professionals associated with the education sector has been made mandatory by the authorities who would be completed by June 10.

All professionals aged above 18 years will be given the facility of walk-in vaccination across the country. The NCOC announced that the examinations of students enrolled in Grade 9 to 12 (Matriculation and Intermediate) will be held from July 23 to 29.

The provinces have been allowed to begin regular classes of matriculation and intermediate students from May 31. However, permission was given on a condition to strictly implement the SOPs against Covid-19.

It has been decided to only allow inbound passengers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) holding negative PCR report from the designated laboratories. Those airlines will face fines in case of non-compliance of the regulations devised by the higher authorities.

The NCOC said that the authorities have taken effective steps to stop the arrival of inbound passengers holding fake PCR reports. Moreover, the COVID-positive passengers from the UAE will be quarantined immediately.

The government will implement strict restriction on the tourism sector from June 1 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Those tourists aged above 30 will not be Okayed for hotel bookings until the provision of a negative Covid-19 report. The NCOC decided to reopen parks, swimming pools and water parks in specific districts from May 30 where the Covid-19 positivity rate is below 5 per cent. Only 50 per cent of people will be allowed to enter the parks, swimming polls and water parks across the country.

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