• NCOC prioritises outdoor Seerat conferences, Mehfil-i-Milad
• Over 1,000 Covid cases recorded after three days
ISLAMABAD: To reduce chances of Covid-19 transmission during the upcoming Eid Miladun Nabi celebrations, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the occasion.
On the other hand, more than 1,000 coronavirus cases surfaced after a gap of three days.
The NCOC, which met on Monday, issued guidelines to local authorities, organisers and participants of Eid Miladun Nabi gatherings to minimise the risk of virus spreading.
The meeting suggested that the size of the congregations should be determined on the basis of local safety regulations under the guidance of health authorities.
A direct link and channels of communication between event organisers, health and local authorities, religious leaders and relevant stakeholders should be established.
It was decided that all individuals with Covid-19 symptoms, contacts of positive cases during their period of quarantine and those with high risk of mortality (older individuals, persons with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and chronic chest conditions) should be prohibited from attending Mehfil-i-Milad and processions.
Seerat conference and Mehfil-i-Milad
The NCOC directed that outdoor Seerat conferences and Mehfil-i-Milad be prioritised; however, if it is not possible, adequate ventilation in indoor venues should be ensured.
Air conditioners must not be used in closed halls, and if portable ventilation equipment, like fans, is required, steps should be taken to direct air flow in a way that it does not blow from one person to another to reduce the potential spread of airborne or aerosolised viruses.
Religious scholars (Ulema, Sana Khawan and Naat Khawan) must only be allowed to address gatherings after they undertake a Covid-19 test with a subsequent negative result.
Social distancing should be ensured while making seating arrangements during Mehfil-i-Milad, keeping a distance of six feet between each person.
Use of loudspeakers would be allowed so that people are able to listen to the religious scholars speak on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Electronic media has been advised to carry out live transmissions so that people can watch Eid Miladun Nabi events from their homes.
Event organisers have also been asked to conduct thermal screening, install sanitisers, make arrangements for washing hands at the entrances and provide face masks.
Meanwhile, after recording positive cases of less than 1,000 for three days, the NCOC reported 1,004 people contracting the virus in a single day. The casualty figure, meanwhile, stood at 28.
According to the data, the number of active cases was 42,263 as of Oct 11, with 2,563 patients admitted to various hospitals across the country.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021