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Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin tested positive for Covid-19, reported Aaj News on Wednesday.

Following the development, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting scheduled for today (Wednesday) has been postponed.

The finance minister was supposed to preside over the meeting to take up a 15-point agenda including the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives’ request for approval of Rs5 billion Technical Supplementary Grant to conduct the recently-approved 7th Population and Housing Census by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

Earlier, leader of the opposition and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced new coronavirus-related restrictions to contain the spread of the virus amid rise in cases.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired the NCOC meeting, which decided to completely ban indoor events in areas where the infection rate is above 10%.

However, it decided to allow outdoor events for marriages. Places, where the infection rate is below 10%, will be allowed to have a gathering of 500 people. But if the rate is above 10%, the gathering would be restricted to 300 persons.

Meanwhile, outdoor dining will be allowed for fully vaccinated individuals, while takeaways will be allowed 24/7. The NCOC said 70% occupancy will be allowed for public transport, while 80% occupancy for railways.

The NCOC has decided that markets and business activities will continue without any restrictions.

The curbs come as Pakistan reported over 5,000 cases for the second consecutive day, while the positivity level also stood above 9% as the fifth Covid-19 wave continued to worsen in the country.

During the last 24 hours, 57,669 tests were conducted, out of which 5,472 came out positive, the highest since August 4, when the country reported 5,661 Covid-19 cases.

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