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Pakistan mulls new precautionary measures as covid cases surge

Two colleges sealed in Islamabad. Decision on schools expected Monday

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 16, 2022 | Last Updated: 7 days ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jan 16, 2022 | Last Updated: 7 days ago

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The National Command and Operation Centre, in view of rising coronavirus cases, has called a meeting of all provincial health and education ministers on Monday, January 17, 2022. On Sunday, authorities sealed two colleges for women in Islamabad. Three cases each of coronavirus were reported at Model College for Girls in G-6/4 and Model College for Girls in F-6/2, health officials said. Meanwhile, the Sindh government has decided to conduct Covid-19 testing at educational institutes in the province before taking a final decision. The government had on Saturday decided that it would not close down schools. However, cases are rising. On Sunday, a leading paediatrician Professor Dr Salahuddin Sheikh died of Covid-19 in Karachi. The NCOC meeting on Monday will suggest new precautionary measures at schools, colleges, and universities. The SOPs for public gatherings, marriage ceremonies, indoor/outdoor dining, and the transport sector will also be chalked out. The move comes after Pakistan reported over 4,000 coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day. The positivity rate in the country has jumped to 7%. Nine patients have succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours. The situation is particularly alarming in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar where the positivity ratio has reached 39.9%, 8.5%, 6.95%, and 5.43%, respectively. SOPs for travel At a meeting on Saturday, the NCOC imposed a complete ban on inflight serving of meals/snacks from January 17, 2022. The Civil Aviation Authority has been instructed to ensure all passengers and crew wear masks during flight. "Implement COVID SOPs at all airports," it added. Serving of meals/snacks in public transport has also been banned. The forum asked federating units to take strict measures against violators of existing SOPs and ensure enforcement of obligatory vaccination regimes. Provinces have been asked to carry out immediate surveys of health care facilities (including oxygenated beds), oxygen stocks, and reserves. The NCOC has directed all quarters to fast-track vaccination drive and ramp up efforts to achieve vaccination targets. New restrictions in Sindh On Saturday, the Sindh government issued new covid-19 guidelines: Schools to remain openAuthorities to regularly survey all public and private hospitalsWearing masks compulsory at all public places i.e. markets, malls, wedding hallsGovernment officers not wearing masks to be finedFood at weddings to be distributed in boxesOnly vaccinated people allowed in markets, mallsAuthorities to check vaccination cards The government has decided to increase the pace of vaccination in all cities. CM Shah said that cases rose because of carelessness. “It is important to strictly follow SOPs to curb the virus.”
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The National Command and Operation Centre, in view of rising coronavirus cases, has called a meeting of all provincial health and education ministers on Monday, January 17, 2022.

On Sunday, authorities sealed two colleges for women in Islamabad. Three cases each of coronavirus were reported at Model College for Girls in G-6/4 and Model College for Girls in F-6/2, health officials said.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government has decided to conduct Covid-19 testing at educational institutes in the province before taking a final decision. The government had on Saturday decided that it would not close down schools.

However, cases are rising. On Sunday, a leading paediatrician Professor Dr Salahuddin Sheikh died of Covid-19 in Karachi.

The NCOC meeting on Monday will suggest new precautionary measures at schools, colleges, and universities.

The SOPs for public gatherings, marriage ceremonies, indoor/outdoor dining, and the transport sector will also be chalked out.

The move comes after Pakistan reported over 4,000 coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day. The positivity rate in the country has jumped to 7%. Nine patients have succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours.

The situation is particularly alarming in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar where the positivity ratio has reached 39.9%, 8.5%, 6.95%, and 5.43%, respectively.

SOPs for travel

At a meeting on Saturday, the NCOC imposed a complete ban on inflight serving of meals/snacks from January 17, 2022. The Civil Aviation Authority has been instructed to ensure all passengers and crew wear masks during flight.

“Implement COVID SOPs at all airports,” it added.

Serving of meals/snacks in public transport has also been banned.

The forum asked federating units to take strict measures against violators of existing SOPs and ensure enforcement of obligatory vaccination regimes.

Provinces have been asked to carry out immediate surveys of health care facilities (including oxygenated beds), oxygen stocks, and reserves.

The NCOC has directed all quarters to fast-track vaccination drive and ramp up efforts to achieve vaccination targets.

New restrictions in Sindh

On Saturday, the Sindh government issued new covid-19 guidelines:

  • Schools to remain open
  • Authorities to regularly survey all public and private hospitals
  • Wearing masks compulsory at all public places i.e. markets, malls, wedding halls
  • Government officers not wearing masks to be fined
  • Food at weddings to be distributed in boxes
  • Only vaccinated people allowed in markets, malls
  • Authorities to check vaccination cards

The government has decided to increase the pace of vaccination in all cities. CM Shah said that cases rose because of carelessness. “It is important to strictly follow SOPs to curb the virus.”

 
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