Pakistan rules out complete lockdown despite a surge in COVID-19 cases

Despite a continued spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases, Pakistan`s National Coordination Committee (NCC) has ruled out imposing a complete lockdown in the country to stem the virus spread. The decision was taken during a meeting of the NCC on Tuesday presided by Prime Minister Imran Khan, reports Dawn news.

Pakistan rules out complete lockdown despite a surge in COVID-19 cases

The NCC also endorsed all the measures announced late last month by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which included the strict implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOP) at public places and reduction in timings for markets and commercial activities.

It also decided to continue the smart lockdown policy. Addressing the media here on Tuesday, Khan said: “We have decided that we will not close down businesses and industries. In case of a rise in coronavirus cases, we will close only those things which do not damage the industries. “Otherwise, we will run the businesses and industries, but with SOPs.”

He also appealed to the public to wear face masks to avoid the spread of the pandemic. According to the NCOC, Pakistan reported a total of 1,167 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours, Dawn news reported. With the latest tallies, the country`s overall caseload and death toll stood at 337,029 and 6,857, respectively.

Despite the surge in the Covid case Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC), helmed by federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood via video link has decided not to close down educational institutions. Education Ministry spokesperson said: “It was agreed that the targeted closure of institutions where the infection rate increases would be carried out with the help of local administration,” an official statement said, adding that the forum opposed long winter vacations and recommended that there should be either no vacations or these be limited to a few days so that students could cover their courses.

Most of the new cases were reported in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Peshawar, and Quetta.

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