ISLAMABAD: A lockdown, from now onwards, will be observed in the capital one day of the week instead of two. Besides, ban on indoor dining and inter-city transport has also been lifted.

Furthermore, five more Covid-19 casualties were reported and 252 people were found infected in the capital and Rawalpindi district on Wednesday. During the last 24 hours, 4,078 tests were conducted in the capital out of which results of 167 came back positive while the infection ratio was recorded at 4.1pc.

Closing time for businesses has been extended till 10pm from 8pm and 100pc attendance in offices has been allowed. The capital administration in pursuance of decisions taken in the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting issued new non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) on Wednesday.

According to a notification issued from the office of Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat, Sunday will be observed as lockdown day in the capital. All activities will remain closed on Sunday other than essential services including pharmacies, medical facilities and vaccination centres, petrol pumps, tandoors, milk/dairy shops, grocery stores, bakeries, poultry/meat shops, fruit/vegetable and dry fruit shops and so on. Earlier, there were two lockdown days – Saturday and Sunday – in the capital.

Five succumb to Covid-19 in capital, Pindi; vaccination centre near cricket stadium closed

The ban on indoor gathering has been lifted however, only vaccinated individuals will be allowed with a maximum limit of 200 individuals. As many as 400 individuals have been allowed in outdoor gatherings under strict Covid-19 protocols.

The notification added that indoor dining has been allowed in restaurants till 11:59pm with maximum 50pc occupancy for vaccinated individuals only. The timings for outdoor dining have been extended till 11:59pm from 10:00pm and takeaways will be allowed 24/7.

Amusement and public parks, swimming pools and water sports have been opened for vaccinated individuals with 50pc occupancy, the notification stated, adding shrines have also been opened for vaccinated people.

All public, private offices and establishments in the capital have been allowed to operate with 100pc attendance.

Inter-city and intra-city public transport will be allowed to operate with 50pc of the total capacity, however the ban on serving of snacks to passengers will remain in place.

All gyms, indoor courts (tennis, badminton, squash etc.,) in Islamabad will be allowed to open only for vaccinated people and members, it said, adding that owners of gyms and indoor courts will be responsible for vaccination of staff and management and for ensuring strict Covid-19 protocols.

All citizens have been instructed to use face masks in public spaces throughout the capital. There is a complete ban on opening of cinemas and contact sports (karate, boxing, martial arts, rugby, water polo, kabaddi and wrestling).

The order will come into force with effect from Sept 16, 2021 within the capital and will remain in force till Sept 30, 2021.

On the other hand, the District Health Authority has shut down the Covid-19 vaccination centre at Shehbaz Sharif Sports Complex near Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Double Road as part of security measures being taken for the cricket matches between Pakistan and New Zealand.

According to officials of the capital administration, three patients died and 168 new cases emerged in Islamabad. They said a woman in her 80s and two men in the age group of 50-59 and 70-79 lost their battle against the virus.

The officials said 37 cases were reported in the age group of 30-39, followed by 31 in 20-29, 25 in 0-9, 22 in 40-49, 19 in 10-19, 14 each in 50-59 and 60-69, five in 70-79 and one in 80 and above.

Likewise, 11 cases were reported from Tarlai, seven each from G-9 and G-11, six each from Bhara Kahu, Sohan and B-17, five each from G-6, I-8 and G-8, four each from Lohi Bher, G-7, Rawat, Rawal Town and Kirpa, three each from F-8, Chak Shahzad, Alipur, F-7, G-5, Koral and Bari Imam, two each from I-10, I-9, Model Town, G-14 and F-17 and one each from G-10, E-11, G-13, Kurri, D-12, Jhangi Syedan, Tarnol, B-12 and Pind Begwal.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Faiza Naeem told Dawn that due to security concerns, the vaccination centre at Shehbaz Sharif Sports Complex was temporarily closed but people had been given an alternative place to get inoculated.

She said additional staff had been deployed at Red Crescent Hospital near Holy Family Hospital to carry out vaccination without any hindrance.

Meanwhile, the positivity rate of Covid-19 cases remained at 5.9pc in Rawalpindi district. Around 258 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the disease.

A total of 1,404 samples were collected in the last 24 hours and the results of 84 people came back positive while 1,320 were declared Covid-19 free.

According to data, Gulzar Ali Shah, 76, a resident of Adiala Road, was brought to Rawalpindi Institute of Urology on Sept 13 where he lost his battle against the virus on Wednesday. Karram Jan, 72, was admitted to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital on Sept 13 where she died on Wednesday.

There are 1,590 active patients in Rawalpindi district out of whom 176 were in hospitals and 1,414 patients home isolated.

As many as 18 patients arrived from the cantonment areas, 14 from city areas, 20 patients were from Potohar Town, six patients arrived from Kallar Syedan, three from Kotli Sattian, seven from Kahuta, four from Gujar Khan and three from Taxila. Two patients arrived from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one patient each was brought from Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, Attock, Jhelum and Mianwali.

Out of the total hospitalised patients, 21 were admitted to Holy Family Hospital, 55 were under treatment in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, 57 were in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology, five in District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, 27 patients were in Fauji Foundation Hospital, six were being treated at Bilal Hospital, three at Hearts International Hospital and one patient each was admitted to Attock Hospital and Akhtar Rukhsana Memorial Welfare Trust Hospital.

There are eight patients on ventilator, 93 on oxygen support and 75 are stable.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2021

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