ISLAMABAD: National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Chairman Asad Umar, Wednesday said that the government has decided to relax restrictions in eight cities with the highest level of vaccination.

While addressing a press conference here along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Faisal Sultan, Umar who is also Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative said that coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed in Quetta, Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, and Skardu.

He further said that from October 1, 2021,a number of restrictions will be imposed on adults not fully vaccinated. The only way out of the Covid pandemic is to get high percentage of citizens vaccinated.

Therefore, as part of the strategy to reward citizens and cities which vaccinate, there will be higher restrictions on cities with low level of vaccination and on citizens who are not vaccinated.

Umar said the NCOC had set the target of vaccinating at least 40 percent of eligible population (15 years and above), which had been met by the eight cities where the restrictions were being relaxed.

He said ban on shrines was being lifted that would be opened completely for the vaccinated people only.

Similarly, cinema halls are also going to open from the said date and the entry would be linked to showing vaccination certificate.

The dining would continue as per guidelines whereas, marriage halls and restaurants are allowed to keep open seven days a week in the eight cities; however, marriage halls and restaurants would remain close at least one day in a week in other cities.

The minister added that ban on refreshment and water for the passengers in flights was also being lifted; however, only those passengers with complete vaccination certificate would be allowed to travel.

He said the maximum limit of people for indoor gathering was being raised from 200 to 300, while that of outdoor from 400 to 1,000.

He said it had been decided to extend the restrictions in the rest of the country till October 31 with the condition of meeting the target of vaccinating at least 40 percent of the eligible population.

“I appeal the people of the other cities especially those affected by the restrictions to approach their respective city administration and the political leadership to push the people to get vaccinated so that restrictions could be lifted in all areas of the country,” he added.

Umar informed that so far, over 58.4 million people had received at least one dose of Covid vaccine out of which over 27.7 million had received both doses and 36 million people had received first dose of the vaccine.

“We have set the target of vaccinating at least 70 million people in the country by December 1, 2021 and we are moving fast to achieving the target,” he added.

Dr Sultan said before vaccine availability main focus was on restrictions, while “now we are gradually shifting our strategy focus towards vaccination”.

He said children were super spreaders of the virus that was why it had been decided to open vaccination for children above 12 years of age.

He said pregnant women were the most vulnerable and needed to get vaccinated more than normal individuals. He said dengue was also spreading in the country; therefore, people should keep their surroundings neat and clean to avoid dengue breeding.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


Comments are closed.