Govt eases restrictions as Covid-19 cases continue to decline

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–Educational institutions and marriage halls to be reopened on Sept 15; cinemas, restaurants to resume operations from Monday

–NCOC decides to intensify public awareness campaign to ensure adherence to SOPs amid declining coronavirus cases

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday announced that it was easing coronavirus-related restrictions on different sectors, as Covid-19 cases continue to decline across the country.

According to the latest figures released by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 727 confirmed Covid-19 cases diagnosed were in 24 hours and 21 more deaths were reported due to the disease.
Active coronavirus cases in the country stand at 19,770, 256,058 patients have recovered from the disease whereas the nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 6,035.

Addressing a press conference, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said that the coronavirus outbreak in the country has been brought under control because of the effective strategy of government institutions, the untiring efforts of doctors and paramedical staff, and the cooperation of the people of Pakistan.

Talking about the decisions taken during the National Coordination Committee (NCC) all the educational institutions will be reopened on September 15 after a final review by the Ministry of Education on September 7. He said that cinema halls and hospitality sector, including hotels and restaurants, would also be allowed to resume operations from August 10, while the tourism sector would start functioning from August 8. He added that outdoor and indoor non-contact games would also be allowed from August 10. The minister said that marriage halls would be allowed to operate from September 15 while beauty parlours would be allowed to reopen from August 10.

He said that restrictions on trains and airlines which were already operational would be lifted in October. Similarly, the road transport would be allowed to operate from August 10 but passengers would not be allowed to travel by standing in metro buses, he added.

Asad said that the smart lockdown strategy adopted by Pakistan has been appreciated by the other countries and they are also learning from Pakistan’s experience.

INTENSIFYING PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN:

Meanwhile, the National Command Operation Center (NCOC) decided to intensify public awareness campaign at a large scale to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic across the country.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of NCOC, chaired by the planning minister in Islamabad.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers, Fakhar Imam, Ijaz Shah and SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan.
Speaking on the occasion, Asad said that coronavirus has not been completely eliminated from Pakistan, yet and urged the masses to continue adopting the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The forum was informed that despite a significant reduction in the spread of coronavirus, the pubic is not following the SOPs strictly.

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