NCOC relaxes Covid restrictions as cases decline

Published February 25, 2021
Under the new directives, time limit on commercial activities has been lifted and condition of 50 per cent attendance at workplaces removed with immediate effect. — Reuters/File
Under the new directives, time limit on commercial activities has been lifted and condition of 50 per cent attendance at workplaces removed with immediate effect. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: In view of the declining trend of Covid-19 cases prevailing in the country, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednes­day relaxed a number of restrictions on commercial activities and official work.

According to a statement, the NCOC took comprehensive review of the existing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs).

Under the new directives, time limit on commercial activities has been lifted and condition of 50 per cent attendance at workplaces removed with immediate effect.

Permission to hold indoor wedding ceremonies and opening of cinemas and shrines has been granted with effect from March 15. However, the decision to allow indoor dining will depend on the outcome of the review meeting to be held on March 10.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has also been allowed to hold local bodies and cantonment board elections by the end of May or early June.

The NCOC also increased the number of spectators attending Pakistan Super League (PSL) pool matches to 50pc from the present 20pc and permitted full attendance during play-offs with stringent standard operating procedures.

However, the statement said the decisions could be reviewed in case infection rate rose again. The provinces, meanwhile, can enforce targeted NPIs where required depending on disease prevalence in a given area or sector.

On the other hand, Pakistan saw another 1,196 people getting infected and 50 dying of Covid-19 in a single day.

The worldwide cases, however, continued to fall for the sixth consecutive week.

As many as 2.4 million new infections were reported globally which was an 11 per cent decline compared to the previous week.

According to the NCOC data, out of the 50 deaths, 44 were reported in hospitals. A total of 241 ventilators were in use of Covid-19 patients across the country with the occupancy rate in Lahore being 37pc, Islamabad 33pc, Multan 27pc and Peshawar 21pc.

Data of oxygenated beds showed that 61pc were occupied in Gujrat, 35pc in Peshawar, 25pc in Lahore and 23pc in Mirpur.

The number of total active cases, which was over 50,000 in December, has dropped to 23,665 as of Feb 24.

The data further said that so far 574,580 people had been detected having the virus in Pakistan out of whom 538,207 had recovered and 12,708 lost their lives. As many as 2,084 patients were under treatment across the country on Wednesday.

Healthcare workers vaccinated

According to a document available with Dawn, 5,055 healthcare workers have been vaccinated in Islamabad.

The most number of healthcare workers — 1,739 — were inoculated in Rural Health Centre (RHC), Tarlai, 1,339 in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, 762 in CDA Hospital, 540 in Federal General Hospital, 431 in Polyclinic and 244 in RHC Bhara Kahu.

Global cases fall

The World Health Organisation said in a statement that 2.4m people were infected globally last week — a decline of 11pc compared to the previous week.

The number of deaths has also been experiencing a downward trend, with nearly 66,000 new casualties reported last week — a 20pc reduction compared to the previous week.

“This brings the global cumulative numbers to 110.7m cases and over 2.4m deaths since the start of the pandemic,” it stated.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2021

Opinion

Trouble in Camelot
Updated 06 May 2021

Trouble in Camelot

The electorate knows better than to swallow the government’s rhetoric.
Time to wake up
Updated 05 May 2021

Time to wake up

The criticism reflects our failure to counter rising religious intolerance and bigotry, and also exposes a diplomatic debacle.

Editorial

Proceed with caution
Updated 06 May 2021

Proceed with caution

The slightest loosening of SOP protocols could send us hurling in the direction where India finds itself today.
06 May 2021

IPP dues

THE ECC decision to pay the first tranche of outstanding dues of one set of IPPs, and further delay the payments of...
06 May 2021

Violence against doctors

HEALTHCARE workers and doctors’ associations in two major hospitals of KP are adamant that the KP Healthcare...
05 May 2021

Path of growth

FINANCE MINISTER Shaukat Tarin finally specified the future direction that the country’s economic policy will take...
05 May 2021

Human rights 2020

THE human rights situation in Pakistan, almost predictably bleak every year, was deeply impacted in 2020 by an...
Unreasonable behaviour
Updated 05 May 2021

Unreasonable behaviour

Usman Buzdar should reprimand Dr Awan for her coarse behaviour and make sure she tenders a public apology.