• Five educational institutes sealed in Pindi, Islamabad
• Over 850 Covid-19 cases reported in single day in both districts
ISLAMABAD: With no let-up in the number of Covid-19 cases, the capital administration on Wednesday issued a list of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to prevent spread of the virus.
Islamabad’s positivity rate jumped to 11.8 per cent on Wednesday from 8.86pc the previous day.
Besides, three more educational institutions were sealed in Islamabad and two in Rawalpindi after both districts reported 702 and 155 new Covid-19 cases, respectively.
The NPIs, issued by the office of Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat on Wednesday, are a set of safety measures other than medicines for protection against Covid-19.
According to the notification, all types of educational institutions for under-12 children would remain open with 50pc attendance (staggered days) while classes for those over 12 years would continue with 100pc attendance for fully vaccinated students under strict protocols. Vaccination for students above 12 years is mandatory (at least one dose), the notification said.
The notification was issued in compliance with the decision of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) under the Epidemic Diseases Control Act 1958.
All markets in Islamabad will remain open whereas public and private offices and establishments throughout Islamabad shall operate with 100pc attendance but all employees must be fully vaccinated, the notification stated, adding that there would be complete ban on indoor gatherings in Islamabad with effect from Jan 24 while outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 300 people would be allowed. These NPIs will remain effective till Feb 15, it added.
A complete ban has been imposed on indoor dining while outdoor dining has been allowed for vaccinated individuals. Takeaway services will remain operational. All gyms, indoor courts (tennis, badminton, squash, etc.,) will operate at 50pc capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and members. Owners of gyms and indoor courts shall be responsible for vaccinating their staff and management.
Furthermore, there will be complete ban on contact sports (karate, boxing, martial arts, rugby, water polo, kabaddi and wrestling) in the capital, the notification stated, adding that cinemas, amusement parks, shrines would be allowed to operate at 50pc capacity in Islamabad for fully vaccinated individuals.
Intra-city public transport will continue to operate in Islamabad with 70pc occupancy for vaccinated individuals with effect from Jan 20. Wearing of masks will be mandatory.
The order for indoor and outdoor activities as well as weddings will remain in force till Jan 31 and Feb 15, respectively.
Sharing details about educational institutions that were sealed on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Shafqaat said Islamabad Model College for Boys G-11/1, Islamabad Model College for Girls I-8/3 and Islamabad Model School (I-V) E-8 had been closed after Covid-19 cases surfaced at their premises.
The officials of the capital administration said advisory was also issued to the administrations of educational institutions to shut down immediately till further orders. They were advised to carry out thoroughly disinfect the premises as per the guidelines of the Ministry of National Health Services.
So far, 24 schools and colleges have been sealed in Islamabad, with five later reopened.
As per the data, 702 people tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. This is the highest number of cases reported on a single day since the fifth wave set in, the officials said.
At present, there are 3,335 active cases, out of which 67 were admitted to hospitals.
District Health Authority (DHA) spokesman Dr Waqar Ahmed told Dawn that besides sealing two schools, samples of people from 17 other educational institutions were collected.
Dr Ahmed said Government Boys High School Khayaban-i-Sir Syed and Government Girls High School Dheri Hassanabad were sealed after nine students were found infected, adding that they would remain closed for 10 days.
The district has seen a manifold increase in the number of Covid-19 patients and smart lockdowns in some areas must be enforced to break the virus cycle, he said, urging people to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and get vaccinated.
According to health authority data, a total of 1,683 samples had been sent for testing out of which 155 were found positive. In Rawalpindi district, there are 984 active patients.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022