COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to commence vaccination of the citizens aged between 40 and 49 years from May 3.
The decision was made in the NCOC meeting with Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair on Thursday.
In view of the surge in global virus spread, the forum decided to curtail inbound passenger flights to Pakistan from 5th to 20th of next month. These restrictions will be reviewed on 18th of next month and detailed instructions will be issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The NCOC reviewed production and supply of oxygen and decided to grant import permission of 6,000 metric tons of oxygen and 5,000 oxygen cylinders to ramp up healthcare facilities in the country. Import permissions of 20 cryogenic tanks were also granted.
The NCOC decided to close the scrap industry of Misri Shah for diverting oxygen to the healthcare sector.
The forum emphasised the need for the “stay home, stay safe” strategy during Eid holidays. In this regard comprehensive guidelines on closure of markets (with exemptions), ban on inter-city and intra city public transport and tourism have been issued to concerned ministries. The NCOC said that chand raat bazaars, shopping malls,
public places, and recreational spots would remain closed from May 8-15.
Moreover, the ban on chand raat bazaars extends to mehndi. jewellery/ornaments and clothing stalls, the NCOC said. A complete ban on tourism would be observed for both locals and foreigners.
All tourist resorts, formal and informal picnic spots, public parks, shopping malls will remain shut. All hotels and restaurants around tourist and picnic spots will remain closed.
Locals, especially people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, would be allowed to travel back home, the statement said.
A complete ban on inter-provincial, intercity, and intra-city public transport will be observed except for private vehicles, taxis, rickshaws, with 50 percent occupancy.
“Additional trains to manage extra passenger load till 7 May, thereafter normal train operation [will] be resumed. 70 percent occupancy along with stringent COVID SOPs [should] be ensured,” it said.
Moreover, Eid-ul-Fitr holidays in Pakistan would be observed from May 10-15, NCOC said. “Announcement of Eid Holidays from 10-15 May 2021 – clearly stating the intention of reducing national mobility,” the statement from the NCOC said.
Meanwhile, the NCOC head Asad Umar in a tweet said that vaccinations of people aged between 40 to 49 years will start from May 3.
He also stated that the country recorded over 100,000 vaccinations for a second successive day, adding that it is encouraging to see the pace of vaccine registration also picking up.
A day ago, the NCOC chief had said that Pakistan crossed the 100,000 COVID-19 vaccination mark in a single day, in a first since the vaccination drive began in the country. The single-day vaccination tally had yesterday taken the total number of country’s vaccinations to over 2.1 million. – TLTP