- Says stricter protocols to be followed from August 3 to August 31
- Indoor dining to stop while outdoor dining to continue till 10pm
- All commercial activities to end at 8pm instead of 10pm
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) revised on Monday coronavirus restrictions for several major cities to stem the rising number of cases in the country.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the NCOC, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the government is taking targeted decisions to contain the spread of the virus.
The revised restrictions, which will continue from August 3 to August 31, will apply to Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Gilgit and Skardu.
The federal government has imposed the following restrictions:
Indoor dining has been banned, while outdoor dining still remains open. However, outdoor dining will also end at 10pm.
Explaining the rationale for restrictions on indoor dining, Umar said: "Our administration was also saying that it was not possible to go and check every restaurant whether only vaccinated people were being allowed; that is why indoor dining is being banned."
Takeaway and home-delivery services from restaurants will be allowed 24 hours a day.
All commercial activities to stop by 8pm instead of 10pm in these cities.
Markets and shops will remain closed twice a week. The provincial governments have been allowed to decide the safe days.
Public transport will operate on 50% capacity to avoid crowding inside vehicles.
Public and private offices will only be allowed 50% employees.
Weddings with a maximum of 400 vaccinated guests will be allowed.
The forum has imposed a ban on processions and gatherings.
Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that a smart lockdown is the most viable solution to contain the coronavirus as it will help save the economy from destruction.
PM Khan urged the masses to observe coronavirus SOPs, saying the Delta variant is spreading fast.
He maintained that imposing a complete lockdown in the country is not the solution as it will affect the poor-income groups the most. He cited the example of India where the situation worsened after a complete lockdown was imposed in the country.
More than thirty million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to people across the country since the start of the vaccination process.
The country has been witnessing the fourth wave of Covid-19 due to the Delta variant, which has now reached 132 countries and territories. During the last 24 hours, 56,414 tests were conducted across the country, out of which 4,858 came out positive. The positivity ratio was recorded at 8.61% during the last 24 hours.
So far, the country has reported 1,039,695 Covid-19 cases. There are 3,441 critical and 73,213 active coronavirus cases in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the disease also claimed 40 more lives on August 1, taking the overall tally to 23,462.