The Sindh Home Department on Thursday decided to ban indoor dining in Karachi and Hyderabad from January 21 instead of the earlier notified date of January 24 (Monday), given that the positivity rate has gone over 10%.
The development comes hours after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued a revised order, recommending the ban on indoor dining from January 21, instead of January 24 in areas where the Covid-19 positivity rate has risen above 10 percent.
“Further to NCOC letter 801/A/2 /NCOC-01 dated 19 January 22; amid a rising trend of disease across the country ban on indoor dining in cities/districts with positivity above 10 % (3 x days rolling average) has been imposed with effect from 21 January 22 instead of 24 January 22,” the NCOC said in a statement.
The new restrictions are part of the government's efforts to control the fifth variant of the Covid-19, led by the Omicron variant.
On Wednesday, the NCOC had banned all indoor events in areas where the infection rate is above 10%. It, however, allowed markets and business activities to continue without any restrictions.
The decisions were taken during a meeting of the NCOC on Wednesday chaired by the Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.
In its decision regarding educational institutions, the NCOC said that all schools will be allowed 100% attendance in those areas where the infection rate is below 10%. For schools where the infection rate is above 10%, the restriction of 50% attendance will be applied, but only to children below 12 years of age.
The NCOC said that federating units in consultation with health authorities will decide limits for closure of schools.
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.