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Saturday Mar 27 2021
Web Desk

Asad Umar warns of stricter restrictions if coronavirus situation doesn’t improve

Web Desk

  • Special NCOC session reviews worsening COVID-19 situation in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ICT.
  • Federal minister Asad Umar warns of more restrictions if coronavirus situation worsens.
  • Punjab and KP chief ministers and ICT commissioner attend session via video link.

ISLAMABAD: National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) chief and Federal Minister Asad Umar has warned of tough decisions if the coronavirus situation doesn’t improve.

During a media briefing after a key NCOC meeting on Saturday to review the alarming rise in coronavirus cases in Punjab, Khyber Paktunkhwa and Islamabad Capital Territory, the federal minister said that the restrictions were increased two weeks ago due to the deteriorating coronavirus situation.

He said the pandemic was spreading rapidly not only in Pakistan, but across the world – especially in neighbouring countries like India and Bangladesh.

Read more: Coronavirus vaccination centres to be closed on Sundays, national holidays, says NCOC

The federal minister said that the number of critical patients has rapidly increased in the last 12 days. If the trend continues, the situation may slip out of hand, the minister said.

Umar said NCOC is trying its level best not to let the situation affect the employment of people.

He also warned that the UK variant of the coronavirus is much "more dangerous" than the original COVID-19 virus that emerged from Wuhan.

NCOC special session

A press statement issued by NCOC said the Punjab and KP chief ministers and ICT commissioner were invited to attend the session via video link.

Provincial chief secretaries, health secretaries and home secretaries also joined the session.

The agenda included a discussion on the rising trend of COVID-19, implementation status of high impact interventions and state of critical medical facilities, including oxygenated beds, vents and other facilities.

A special NCOC morning session was held a day earlier in which provincial administrations were asked to ensure strict implementation of NPIs and violators must be dealt with strictly.

According the NCOC press statement, major violations are being reported from the transport sector, weddings, restaurants, commercial activities and public gatherings.

People over 50 can begin registering for a vaccine from March 30: Asad Umar

A day earlier, the NCOC head announced that people aged 50 and above can sign up to get vaccinated for coronavirus starting next week.

"Registration of those who are 50 plus for COVID vaccination will be opened on March 30th," announced Umar in a tweet.

Read more: Pakistan schools in coronavirus hotspot areas to stay closed till April 11

Umar encouraged everyone over the age of 50 to register when the process begins, also reminding those who are 60 and older that registration for them had already begun.

Currently, Pakistan is vaccinating the country's healthcare workers and people over the age of 60 after launching the vaccination drive for frontline workers on February 2.

Pakistan is using the Sinopharm vaccine developed by state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group, which has shown to be 79% effective.