PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday decided to allow only vaccinated people to attend wedding functions and indoor dining.
The decision was taken in a meeting of officials of the provincial home and tribal affairs department and representatives of restaurants and wedding halls association, which discussed the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain Covid-19.
A home department statement issued here said the meeting discussed the issues being faced by the owners of restaurants and wedding halls and decided to implement the decision of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) regarding implementation of the SOPs.
The association’s representatives agreed to the decision and also assured the government that they would vaccinate their staff against the Covid and would also ensure that only vaccinated people were allowed indoor dining and attending marriage functions at the wedding halls.
Owners of wedding halls, restaurants discuss SOPs with officials, promise staff vaccination
The association stated that they would also inform all their members regarding implementation of the SOPs, as legal action would be taken against violators of the government guidelines.
Separately, expressing concern over rise in the number of coronavirus cases and potential fourth wave, KP Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz on Friday directed the relevant authorities to ensure strict implementation of the SOPs on the occasion of Eidul Azha.
A statement issued here said that Dr Niaz issued these instructions while presiding over a high-level meeting on prevention of the fourth wave of Covid and implementation of precautionary measures.
The meeting was attended by administrative secretaries of the health, local government, transport and information departments. It was informed that positivity ratio of cases in Peshawar was on the rise and Covid variants of UK, South Africa and India had also been confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The chief secretary said that the fourth wave of the virus could emerge on Eidul Azha and as such it was high time to strictly implement the precautionary protocols. He also directed the health authorities to ramp up coronavirus vaccination drive.
The meeting decided that next week would be observed as coronavirus SOPs implementation and awareness week.
Dr Niaz asked the commissioners and district administrations to take concrete steps for implementation of SOPs in markets, public places and mosques. He urged general public to follow precautionary measures on the occasion of Eid like they did during the third wave and warned that the government would have to resort to taking the difficult decision of shutting down markets and tourism sector if positivity ratio surged.
The meeting was apprised that the local government department had set up 142 cattle markets across the province and bags were being distributed among people for safe disposal of offal of the sacrificial animals.
The chief secretary directed the local government department to ensure adherence to the SOPs in cattle markets.
Referring to influx of citizens who would travel to their native areas to celebrate Eid, he directed the transport department to ensure strict compliance of SOPs in public transport with not more than 70 per cent occupancy of vehicles.
The chief secretary warned that carelessness could lead the province to a difficult situation, saying it was important that people acted responsibly by following the precautionary measures.
Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2021