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Govt imposes new restrictions as Covid-19 cases spike

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday announced new Covid-19 restrictions for cities and districts where the Covid-19 positivity rate has exceeded two per cent.

According to a notification, the NCOC ordered all shopping malls, restaurants, shops and marriage halls to shut by 10 pm from tomorrow (Thursday). The foram also ordered to shut public parks and recreational spots by 6 pm from Thursday.

The cities include Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Peshawar and Quetta.

The NCOC has made it mandatory to wear face masks and ordered the provincial government for taking strict measures in view of the rising cases of coronavirus pandemic.

The NCOC made it mandatory for the nationals to wear face masks while coming out of their homes, especially in public places including local markets, shopping malls, transport and restaurants.

The directives were issued after a session chaired by the head of NCOC Asad Umar which was attended by interior minister Ijaz Shah, secretary health Amir Ashraf Khawaja, National Institute of Health (NIH) head Major General Aamer Ikram, chief executive officer of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), whereas, the provincial officials joined the meeting via video link.

Read More: Polluted cities are at risk of second Covid-19 spike, warns PM Imran

The provinces have been directed by the NCOC for adopting strict measures for ensuring the usage of face masks by its citizens.

It emerged that a rise in coronavirus cases was recorded up to 80 per cent in eleven major cities including Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad.

‘Polluted cities at risk of second Covid-19 spike’

Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again warned that there is a higher chance for a second coronavirus wave in cities with higher pollution.

“Pakistan is still fighting a war against COVID-19. The second wave of the novel coronavirus may hit cities with high pollution levels during the winter season,” said PM Imran Khan while addressing the Insaf Doctors Forum at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal in Lahore on Wednesday.

Read More: NCOC makes mandatory to wear face masks in crowded places

Imran Khan warned that cities such as Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala — where the level of pollution remains high — are especially at risk from a surge in coronavirus cases in the winter season.

Highlighting his government’s effective strategy about COVID-19, the prime minister said that the world praised Pakistan’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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