ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday recommended to ban all the big public gatherings across Pakistan viewing the rapid increase in coronavirus cases with the onset of winter.
The decision was taken after deliberation on different aspects by the NCOC.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, in a tweet, confirmed that the NCOC had once again recommended to ban all large public gatherings.
“Rapid increase in positivity requires urgent steps to save lives and livelihoods. Since mid-October, when NCC first considered the NCOC recommendation to ban large public gatherings, daily cases have nearly tripled,” said Asad Umar.
He said the national political leadership across the political spectrum needed to demonstrate the leadership to send a message to the entire nation for taking preventive steps and follow standard operating procedures (SOP)’s. Consensus needed in NCC for taking this decision, which had been delayed due to lack of consensus, he said.
NCOC meeting suggested all the stakeholders for an input and subsequently recommended to NCC for approval by national leadership across Pakistan.
It recommended that all the public gatherings of more than 500 people should be banned including political, cultural, religious, entertainment and civil society gatherings.
It said the early and extended winter vacations should be announced after input by the federal and provincial ministries of education.
“At restaurants, only outdoor dining should be allowed till 10 pm and take away. Cinemas and theatres will be shut down with immediate effect. Shrines should also be closed with immediate effect. Early closing of markets with safe days should be ensured,” suggested the NCOC.
It recommended to make restrictions stricter at high risk areas.