ISLAMABAD: The capital administration revised timings of business and commercial activities in the city keeping in view the spread of Covid-19.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (East) Babar Sahibdin said that the closing time of markets and businesses in the capital is 6pm from now onwards whereas all businesses and restaurants will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Outdoor dining is allowed from Iftaar till midnight, he added.

A notification issued from the office of Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaaat stated that all commercial activites, markets, and marakiz (less essential services) will be operational form Sehr till 6pm on weekdays and shall remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Essential services will not be bound by these restrictions, it said, adding all medical services and pharmacies, opticians, bakeries, general/grocery stores, milk/meat/chicken shops, tyre shops, auto workshops, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors, atta chakkies, postal/courier services, driver hotels, petrol pumps, oil depots, telecom services, LPG outlets and filling plants, agriculture machinery workshops and spare part shops, printing press, dry fruit, call centres (with 50pc staff and no public dealing), takeaway/home delivery from restaurants are allowed to open seven days a week and 24 hours a day.

Banks and money changers are also allowed to remain open as per orders of State Bank of Pakistan, the notification stated, adding that 50pc work-from-home policy will continue in the capital for both public and private offices.

Complete closure of cinemas and shrines will continue to be enforced while Taraweeh prayer will be organised in open spaces as far as possible and all prayers in mosques will be regulated by the administration, it added.

The notification was issued in compliance with the decision of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), communicated on April 13.

All kinds of indoor and outdoor events, gatherings, indoor and outdoor festivals, sports tournaments, cultural activities, social activities, religious gatherings shall remain banned. Amusement parks shall remain closed, however, walking and jogging tracks will remain open with strict adherence to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The order will come into force on April 15 (today) and remain enforced till May 16.

Vaccination centres

Shift timings of vaccination centres in Rawalpindi district were announced. Health teams will administer Covid-19 vaccines to senior citizens in two shifts.

According to the announcement, the morning shift will begin from 9am till 4pm while the second shift will begin from 9pm till 1am. Citizens have been requested to visit the vaccination centres for jabs during these timings.

On the other hand, a vaccination centre has also been established at Fatima Jinnah Women University which drew appreciation from residents of cantonment areas. The government had failed to establish a centre in cantonment areas while traders’ association and local residents met Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat for establishment of the centre.

Deputy Commissioner Anwarul Haq visited the centre on Wednesday to check arrangements and get feedback from citizens over the vaccination process. He expressed satisfaction over it.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Faiza Kanwal and FJWU Vaccination Centre Incharge Dr Ansar Ishaq while giving a briefing to the deputy commissioner said that 300 people got vaccinated at the centre on a daily basis.

They said that senior citizens were provided all facilities as per directions of the Punjab government. So far 46,511 people got vaccinated in the district, he added.

After the visit, Mr Haq told Dawn that the district administration was actively implementing SOPs to avoid further spread of the deadly virus.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2021

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