• NCOC sets June 30 deadline for govt employees to get inoculated
• Walk-in facility for people over 18 years starts tomorrow
• Vaccination centres to remain open from 8am to 10pm daily, except Sundays
• Some restrictions to be lifted from June 15
ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday made it mandatory for all public and private sector employees to get inoculated, setting June 30 deadline for the government employees to be vaccinated.
Besides, around 39 million people who fall in the 18 to 30 age group will be able to avail the walk-in vaccination facility from Friday (June 11).
The forum also decided to ease certain restrictions from June 15 after a decline in Covid-19 infections was observed.
The NCOC meeting, which was presided over by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and co-chaired by National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman Khan, decided to run the mass vaccination drive under a three-pronged strategy based on voluntary inoculation by all citizens, mandatory vaccination of public and private-sector employees and incentivised campaign initiative.
“All public-sector employees will have to be inoculated by June 30 while an incentivised campaign will be started for which the NCOC is considering introducing certain incentives for various sectors to encourage vaccination, a statement issued by the forum said.
It added that from June 11, all vaccination centres will remain open from 8am to 10pm daily, except on Sundays. Moreover, walk-in facility will be extended to people over 18 years of age from June 11 onwards.
Meanwhile, the NCOC is in the process of developing IT-based solutions to verify vaccination certificates, which is expected to be completed by the end of the current month.
Curbs to be lifted
The meeting took a number of decisions on non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) which will be implemented from June 15.
As per the decisions, restrictions on two-day closure will be relaxed to one day, and it will be up to the federating and administrative units to choose the day.
The NCOC also decided to partially open indoor gyms for vaccinated members and allow selected non-contact sports. However, ban on contact sports – karate, boxing, mixed martial arts, rugby, kabbadi, wrestling, waterpolo – festivals, shrines and cinemas will stay.
The 50pc work-from-home policy will no longer be compulsory and 100pc office attendance will be allowed. Two-day weekly ban on inter-provincial transport will also be lifted and restriction of 70pc occupancy in public transport instead of 50pc will be imposed.
Curbs that the NCOC has already announced for the education sector, railways and inbound passengers would remain in place till further orders. There will also be no relaxation on observance of standard operating procedures.
According to the NCOC data, 77 people died of Covid-19 and another 1,118 got infected in the last 24 hours, while the number of active cases remained at 44,987.
10 million doses administered
An event was held at the NCOC to celebrate the administration of 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in Pakistan.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry was also present on the occasion.
Asad Umar, who heads the NCOC, said the government aimed to vaccinate around 70 million people by the end of the current year.
“Though it was a remarkable development, we still have a long way to go,” Mr Umar said, urging people to get vaccinated at the earliest for restrictions to be lifted.
SAPM visits airport
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan visited Islamabad International Airport on Wednesday where he reviewed arrangements made to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
He was briefed by officials of the Directorate of Central Health Establishment (CHE) on the mechanism of screening and testing patients.
Dr Sultan said all possible steps should be taken to screen out positive cases in airports.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2021