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COVID-19 guidelines for Pakistan Independence Day

Celebrations involve risk of a spike in coronavirus cases

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 14, 2020 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Aug 14, 2020 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
COVID-19 guidelines for Pakistan Independence Day

Photo: Online

As coronavirus cases in Pakistan decrease, people have started letting their guard down when it comes to precautionary measures.

With the Independence Day of Pakistan coming up on August 14, there is a risk of a spike in COVID-19 cases due to public gatherings.

The Government of Pakistan has agreed that “the events conducted in relation to Independence Day celebrations during Covid-19 can amplify the transmission of the virus and potentially disrupt the country’s response capacity.”

The Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations has listed in its recently released guidelines the degrees of risk different activities include:

  • Low: Virtual activities, events and gatherings
  • Medium: Small outdoor and in-person gatherings where people maintain a distance of at least six feet, wear face masks, do not share objects and come from the same local area
  • High: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow people to remain six feet apart, with attendees coming from outside the local area
  • Highest: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult to remain six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area

SOPs for Independence Day events

  • Everyone should wear face masks
  • Hand sanitisers at entry and exit points
  • Thermal scanning of all participants attending the event
  • All surfaces must be frequently cleaned and sanitised with disinfectant
  • Bathrooms should be frequently cleaned and sanitised
  • Shared equipment (mic, speakers) must be disinfected after they are used each time
  • Consider pre-recorded speeches if frequent sanitisation is not possible
  • Ensure proper ventilation and keep the events outdoors
  • Use disposable gloves when handling and disposing of trash. Discard in a marked trash can. Do not disinfect or reuse gloves
  • Limit attendance or seating capacity for social distancing
  • Prevent people from crowding in waiting areas
  • Encourage people to stay at least six feet apart through signs or tape/ chalk marks
  • Flag-hoisting ceremonies should be restricted to government officials in their designated areas. Participation of community members, old people, students and children is not encouraged
  • The rope of the flag should be sanitised
  • Officials hoisting the flag should wear gloves and immediately discard them after hoisting

The story was originally published on August 12, 2020.

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