NCOC Suggests Banning Large Public Gatherings, Enhanced Restrictions as COVID-19 Resurge

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Wednesday has called for banning large public gatherings and enhanced restrictions in high risk areas due to COVID-19 resurge amid rising possible second wave of the pandemic.

The NCOC meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar reviewed the epidemic curve data and disease prevalence in country including education sector.

The Forum was told that the disease had increased three folds since the NCOC recommended to ban large public gatherings and outdoor activities on October 12 and November 3 to the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for its final decision. However consensus by all stakeholders is awaited.

The Forum was briefed that there is increasing positivity ratio in educational institutions and there is a need to check this trend. Forum decided that on 16 November the Federal Minister for Education would chair a special meeting at NCOC with provincial education ministers on board to assess and review the positivity prevailing in educational institutions .

After consultative discussions the recommendations would be shared with the provinces for consequent decision and enforcement.
The Forum taking into account rising positivity ratio suggested for an early and extended winter vacations to reduce impact of disease spread and ensure safety and health of students .

NCOC issuing guidelines on marriages to all stake holders that
Only outdoor marriages with upper limit of 500 people are allowed from Nov 20th. The NCOC also suggested for NCC meeting to increase restrictions on high risk sectors and particularly large public gatherings.

It also recommended urgent and emergency measures to NCC for final approval after consensus by all stake holders.

The NCOC appreciated SOP compliance in mosques so far since last many months however noted decline in compliance at present and appealed to all stake holders to further follow the same rather enhance amid possible 2nd wave.

NCOC suggesting following measures to all stake holders for input and subsequently recommended to NCC for approval by National leadership across Pakistan. The measures include :
Public gatherings
All public gatherings of more than 500 people be banned including political, cultural, religious, entertainment and civil society gatherings,

Education: Early and extended winter vacations after input by Federal / Provincial
Only outdoor dining till 10 pm and take away
Cinemas and Theatres will be closed with immediate effect
Shrines to be closed with immediate effect
Early closing of Markets with safe days

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