ISLAMABAD: The capital administration on Friday further eased restrictions on small businesses allowing them to open for an unlimited time throughout the week.
However, business activities which are already closed will remain so for the time being.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat said as per the government decision, shops which were already opened five days a week had been allowed to open on Saturdays and Sundays with no time restrictions. However, they will strictly follow the Covid-19 safety measures.
Other business activities such as dine-in at hotels and restaurants, salons, beauty parlours, spas, gymnasiums, marriage halls, expo halls, theme/amusement parks, play areas and arcades and cinemas will remain closed.
Public processions, gatherings of all kinds for social/religious or any other purpose at any public and private place are also not allowed.
Business activities already closed will remain so for the time being, says official
Officials said markets, marakiz and shopping malls would remain open on the weekends. Timing restrictions on grocery, Karyana stores and other shops were also lifted.
On the other hand, a slight increase was seen in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the capital as 41 new patients emerged on Friday compared to 19 on Thursday. Besides, three more deaths were also reported.
Minister for Health Punjab Dr Yasmin Rashid visited the Central Secretariat of the PTI in Islamabad and held a meeting with party’s chief organiser Saifullah Khan Nyazee.
According to the central media department of the party, Dr Yasmin highlighted the strategies adopted to deal with the contagious disease in the province and the treatment facilities provided to the affected citizens.
She said significant success had been achieved against the outbreak.
Mr Nyazee said the experience gained in these circumstances will go a long way in the future development of the health sector.
He said the provision of quality health services to the citizens was one of the key components of the
Fearing a surge in the Covid-19 cases after Eidul Azha, the divisional administration has asked the four district administrations to make arrangements in the government hospitals.
Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood said though the number of patients did not increase, arrangements had been made to deal with any emergency.
“The government hospitals have been relaxed in the last two weeks due to less number of Covid-19 patients. But after prediction by experts and a slight increase in the confirmed cases, all hospitals and health facilities have been put on a high alert,” he told Dawn.
He said Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) was fully active and would take all types of Covid-19 patients. A helpline would be established at the RIU.
A special counselling section will also be set up at the RIU by Rawalpindi Medical University for follow-up of coronavirus patients.
However, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital will also deal with patients other than Covid-19, he added.Meanwhile, eight patients tested positive for Covid-19 in Rawalpindi while nine others were discharged.
The number of confirmed patients in the district increased to 6,571 while 276 people have died and 6,127 patients were discharged after recovery.
However, 178 suspected patients are waiting for their results from laboratories.
Total 168 confirmed patients are under treatment, including 109 in four hospitals and 59 patients isolated in their homes.
Currently, 12 patients are in the high dependency unit, including three on ventilators and as many on oxygen.
Only one positive case of coronavirus was registered in Attock during the last 24 hours.
According to the health department, the single case from Hazro town took the tally in the district to 579.
District focal person for Covid-19 Dr Asif Arbab Niazi said there were 39 active patients across the district and 37 of them were under home isolation and only two hospitalised.
Responding to a question, Mr Niazi said there were also 4,291 suspected cases. — Additional reporting by Amjad Iqbal
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020