NCOC allows reopening of shrines, cinemas for fully vaccinated visitors

Published October 15, 2021
In this file photo, security guard is seen standing inside Data Darbar shrine of Sufi saint Syed Ali bin Osman Al-Hajvery in Lahore after the government closed the shrine as a preventive measure against Covid-19. — AFP/File
In this file photo, security guard is seen standing inside Data Darbar shrine of Sufi saint Syed Ali bin Osman Al-Hajvery in Lahore after the government closed the shrine as a preventive measure against Covid-19. — AFP/File

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) further eased coronavirus restrictions on Friday, allowing the reopening of cinemas and shrines for fully vaccinated citizens across the country.

According to a statement issued by the forum — which is the nerve centre of Pakistan's virus response — the decision to relax restrictions was taken during a meeting convened to review the pandemic situation in the country.


Relaxed restrictions

  • Cinemas and shrines reopened for fully vaccinated citizens
  • One-day weekly closure of businesses abolished
  • Number of guests allowed to attend indoor weddings increased from 200 to 300 and from 300 to 500 for outdoor weddings.

"In light of the spread of the disease (Covid-19) slowing down and the ongoing vaccination campaign, the forum has [also] decided to end the one-day [weekly] closure of businesses across the country," the statement said.

It added that the number of guests allowed to attend indoor weddings had been increased from 200 to 300 and from 300 to 500 for outdoor weddings.

However, the NCOC said, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), which had been imposed in districts reporting a high incidence of Covid-19 cases, would remain in place from October 16 to October 21.

"The NPIs will be reviewed in an NCOC meeting on October 28," the forum added.

Meanwhile, Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, urged citizens in a tweet to get vaccinated.

Sharing the results of a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, he said: "According to the survey, 86 per cent people believe that the [country] could overcome the corona[virus] soon. We are thankful to the nation from the bottom of our heart for [showing] confidence [in us], but it would only be possible if people get vaccinated at the earliest. Otherwise, there is a risk of the spread of the corona[virus] picking up pace with the arrival of winter."

The NCOC's revised guidelines have come as the country continues to see a decline in the Covid-19 positivity rate, which was recorded at two per cent reported today (Friday).

According to the NCOC, a total of 1,086 Covid-19 cases and 27 deaths have been reported from across Pakistan over the past 24 hours.

Last week, the NCOC had permitted the resumption of on-campus classes for schools from October 11.

“Based on the reduced level of disease spread and the launch of the school vaccination program, it has been decided in today’s NCOC meeting to allow all educational institutions to start normal classes from Monday the October 11,” Umar had said in a tweet.

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