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Wednesday Nov 11 2020
Web Desk

Emergency coronavirus measures: NCOC recommends closure of shrines, indoor restaurants, limiting large gatherings

Web Desk
A man, wearing a mask, gestures while shopping at a market in Karachi. Photo: Reuters

ISLAMABAD: National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday issued fresh restrictions in a bid to control the rapidly increasing second wave of coronavirus infections across the country.

The NCOC has recommended limiting all public gatherings to 500 people, including cultural, political, religious, entertainment, and civil gatherings.

The meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, was told that the virus increased three-folds since the NCOC recommended banning large public gatherings and outdoor activities on October 12 and November 3 to the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for its final decision.

"However, consensus by all stakeholders is awaited," read a statement issued on Wednesday. 

Read more: Coronavirus cases in Pakistan and abroad on November 11

The body has suggested notifying early and extending winter vacations to federal and provincial education departments, keeping in view the rising positivity rate in educational institutions. Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood will be chairing a special meeting with his provincial counterparts at the NCOC on November 16 to assess and review the positivity prevailing in educational institutions.

The forum has recommended only outdoor dining be allowed till 10 pm while cinemas and theatres will be closed immediately. Shrines will also be temporarily closed with immediate effect. Only outdoor weddings with a capacity of 500 people be will allowed from November 20.

The NCOC also wants early closing of markets and safe days.

"After consultative discussions, the recommendations would be shared with the provinces for consequent decision and enforcement," said the NCOC in a statement. "The body has recommended urgent and emergency measures to the NCC for final approval after consensus by all stakeholders."

Appreciating COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) compliance in mosques, the NCOC noted a "decline in compliance at present and appealed to all stakeholders to further follow the same rather enhance amid possible second wave".