Pakistan eases restrictions as lockdown shows positive results during Eid holidays - GulfToday

Pakistan eases restrictions as lockdown shows positive results during Eid holidays


A health worker inoculates a man with a dose of Sinopharm vaccine at a vaccination centre in Karachi. AFP

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

As the COVID-19 situation remained under control in Pakistan during the Eid Al Fitr holidays with daily new cases showing a declining trend, the country has decided to ease a number of restrictions on transportation and commercial activities.

As coronavirus vaccine registration of people aged 30 years and above began on Sunday, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has allowed resumption of public transport instead of the previously given date of May 17.

The transport will, however, be operative with 50 per cent occupancy of passengers, and railways will maintain its operation with 70 per cent occupancy, according to the NCOC.
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Besides, all markets and shops will remain open till 8pm from May 17. On the other hand, Pakistan reported the lowest number of cases since March 8. Experts, however, attributed the low count to fewer number of tests conducted due to Eid.

According to a statement, a special session of the NCOC was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and co-chaired by National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman Khan. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan was also in attendance while chief secretaries participated via video link.
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"The forum reviewed the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) during Eid holidays and expressed its satisfaction. It also appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the cooperation rendered by the public across the country. After reviewing the existing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) a number of decisions were taken,” it said.

The data released by the NCOC showed that 1,531 cases and 83 deaths were reported in a single day whereas 588 people were on ventilators throughout the country.

The number of active cases has been recorded at 71,804 as of May 15 while 4,805 patients were admitted to various hospitals.

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