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Pakistan shuts schools in major cities to curb Covid-19 surge

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Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood on Wednesday announced the closure of schools in several districts of Punjab from March 15 due to the surge in cases of of Covid-19.

Speaking to the media after a meeting at the National Command and Operations (NCOC), Mahmood said educational institutes would be closed in Islamabad and other Punjab cities from Monday for two weeks.

The minister also announced shared the decision on his Twitter feed.

 

The SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said a decision had also been taken to extend a ban on indoor activities and reimpose the 50% work-from-home policy. The implementation of the work from home policy has been left to the discretion of the provinces, but will go into effect in Islamabad immediately.

He said the situation will be further reviewed on 12th of next month.

Sultan said the vaccination process of senior citizens of 60 year age and above has been started and such citizens can get vaccination sending their CNIC number to 1166.

Earlier, the NCOC, which had met with Planning Minister Asad Umar in the chair today, was given a comprehensive update and review about the guidelines issued for coronavirus prevention valid till March 15.

It also announced that strict compliance with mask-wearing will continue across the board. Smart lockdowns/micro smart lockdowns will continue to be imposed based on disease prevalence/hotspots.

In addition, 50% work from home policy will be implemented at the discretion of federating units. However, it will be enforced in Islamabad with immediate effect.

The time limit of 10:00pm on all commercial activities will be re-enforced with immediate effect, less essential services. Amusement parks across the country will be closed at 6:00pm.

The earlier decision of allowing indoor weddings, indoor dining and the opening of cinemas and shrines with effect from 15th March 21 has been withdrawn. However, outdoor dining/take away will continue to remain open as per previous practice.

Outdoor gatherings will continue to remain limited to a maximum of 300 individuals with strict enforcement of COVID-19 SOPs. A review of all enforced NPIs will be carried out on April 12, 2021.

The above-mentioned decisions regarding NPIs are base-line decisions. Federating units are at liberty to impose stricter NPIs in selected Cities/Districts keeping in view the local disease trend/spread.

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