New restrictions for Punjab
The National Command and Operation Centre will meet today (Monday) to discuss the coronavirus levels in the country and lockdowns in Punjab.
The forum will decide on banning inter-city and province travel as Pakistan battles the third wave of coronavirus. The meeting will be headed by Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar. Secretaries of all provinces will attend via video link.
In a meeting on Sunday, the NCOC banned all indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies across the country starting April 5. Umar said that the rise in cases in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad was due to the UK variant.
In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported over 4,500 cases while 41 people succumbed to the deadly virus. Experts have called the increase in coronavirus metrics alarming.
In Lahore, the positivity ratio climbed to 17%. Peshawar has, on the other hand, seen a 22% rise in daily cases.
Umar announced on Friday that the COVID-19 vaccine registration for Pakistanis above 50 years will start on March 30.
Registration for people over 60 is ongoing. The two-dose Sinopharm vaccine is being given in this phase. You can read more about the process here.
In a media talk on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the nation is not prepared for a country-wide lockdown. “We can’t impose a lockdown because we don’t have resources to provide people food and take care of them.”
Even rich countries don’t have such resources, the premier said.
PM Khan and his wife tested positive on March 20 and have been self-isolating at their residence.
“When the Senate election came, I couldn’t exercise the caution that I exercised during the last two waves and I ended up contracting the virus,” he said, urging people to wear masks.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will be addressing a press conference in Lahore at 1pm. He will announce new restrictions for the province and will make a decision on a lockdown in Lahore.
On Sunday, the provincial government said that people not wearing masks will be fined and sent to jail for up to six months.
The district administrations of cities across the province are cracking down on restaurants, hotels, and bus terminals. On Sunday, 31 wedding halls and 20 shops were sealed in Sialkot for violating coronavirus SOPs.