Wednesday Nov 18 2020
Web Desk

Ban on large gatherings in effect immediately: NCC

Web Desk
Supporters of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of political opposition parties, wave flags as they listen to their leaders during an anti-government protest rally in Karachi, Pakistan October 18, 2020. — Reuters/Files

The National Coordination Committee has imposed an immediate ban on large gatherings as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the country.

According to a statement issued, the NCC has imposed a ban on outdoor gatherings that have more than 300 attendees.

The NCC said that the management of any event will be responsible for implementing standard operations procedures (SOPs) pertaining to coronavirus.

Read more: No more political rallies, large gatherings to be limited to 300 people, PM Imran Khan announces

If the event leads to the spread of the virus, the management will be held responsible.

On marriages, it said that a ban would be imposed on indoor gatherings from November 20 and that only outdoor events will be permitted with an upper limit of 300 people.

Decisions/directions by NCC
Large gatherings: All Outdoor gatherings of more than 300 persons to be banned. SOP implementation shall be the responsibility of the organizers and they would be liable for any death or spread of Covid-19 due to these gatherings as per law.All Chief Secretaries/Chief Commissioner ICTImmediate
Weddings: No indoor event to be allowed; only outdoor events with maximum of 300 guests will be allowed.All Chief Secretaries/Chief Commissioner ICTNovember 20, 2020
Restaurants: Indoor dinning allowed for present. To be reviewed in a week’s time. The public is strongly encouraged to use either outdoor or takeaway options. This is in view of high risk of transmission of virus in close indoor settings especially when masks are taken off during eating.All Chief Secretaries/Chief Commissioner ICTImmediate
Educational institutions: The option of early/extended winter vacations will be reviewed after consultation by Federal Education & Professional Training Division with all Provinces/Federating Units, in a week’s time.Minister, Federal Education & Professional Training Division

Provincial Education Ministers
November 23, 2020
Reiteration of enforcement of masks in all closed and crowded spaces by local authorities as previously decided.All Chief Secretaries/Chief Commissioner ICTImmediate

The NCC will convene a meeting next week to decided on imposing a ban on indoor dining at restaurants, adding that people will be encouraged to eat outdoors or take food home.

Read more: Coronavirus in Pakistan: No decision on closure of schools, early winter vacations, says Shafqat Mahmood

Local authorities will ensure that people wear masks in all crowded spaces, the NCC added.

It must be noted that the ban also extends to political rallies. The Pakistan Democratic Movement has however vowed it will hold all scheduled rallies as planned. Their next rally is due to take place in Peshawar on November 22.

It is pertinent to mention here that for the past six days, Pakistan has recorded more than 2,000 new infections daily.

A total of 2,208 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 363,380. With 37 new deaths, the country's coronavirus death toll reached 7,230.

So far, a total of 325,788 people have recovered from the virus while the active number of cases stands at 30,362.

With 38,544 tests conducted across Pakistan, the positivity rate has reached 5.3%.

Education ministry's proposal for educational institutions

Separately, the Federal Ministry of Education has sent recommendations for educational institutions to the provincial governments, proposing that they be closed from November 24 to January 31, 2021.

It proposed that primary schools be closed from November 24 and middle schools from December 2.