Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

NCOC decides to close markets, restaurants and shopping malls by 10pm

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ISLAMABAD,  OCT 28 (DNA) – The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Wednesday decided to close markets, shopping malls, restaurants and wedding halls across the country by 10pm citing spike in coronavirus cases.

In its new coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the NCOC has made it mandatory to wear across the country from Thursday. The medical stores, clinics and hospitals will remain open.

Earlier today, the forum directed the provinces to ensure compliance of wearing of face masks and other standard operating procedures (SOPs) against Covid-19 particularly in markets, shopping malls, public transport and restaurants.

At present, four thousand three hundred and seventy-four smart lockdowns have been imposed across the country. On the other hand, Pakistan has reported 14 deaths in last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 330,200. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 6,759.

As per latest figures by the NCOC, 825 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours. Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

Till now 144,449 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 103,314 in Punjab, 39,189 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 19,300 in Islamabad, 15,859 in Balochistan, 3,889 in Azad Kashmir and 4,200 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Furthermore 2,604 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Sindh, 2,342 in Punjab, 1,271 in KP, 149 in Balochistan, 214 in Islamabad, 92 in GB and 87 in Azad Kashmir.

Pakistan has so far conducted 4,347,155 coronavirus tests and 29,477 in last 24 hours. 311,814 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 611 patients are in critical condition.

On October 21, the NCOC said it was closely monitoring the prevailing COVID situation and if there was no improvement in standard operating procedures (SOPs) compliance being observed then the NCOC would have no choice but again revert to strict measures leading to re-Closures of services.

The Forum said that there was clear resurgence of disease where death numbers were also increasing. During the session, all Chief were asked to strictly implement SOPs where strict punitive actions on SOPs violations would be initiated, it added.

The Forum noted that perceived High risk sectors of transport, markets, marriage halls, restaurants, public gatherings would be given special focus. Moreover, administrative actions would be initiated against SOPs’ violators whereas wearing of face mask and social distancing must be ensured, the Forum said. = DNA

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