SLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued new guidelines on Wednesday to curb the spread of coronavirus ahead during the month of Ramadan. The preventive measures were issued during a special meeting of the NCOC chaired by the Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Tuesday. The forum decided to implement “broader lockdowns”, with stringent enforcement protocols where no mobility will be allowed, except in emergency situations. Keeping in view the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country, all indoor and outdoor activities, including social, cultural, political, sports, and other miscellaneous events, will be banned. “Outdoor dining will be allowed from Iftar till midnight, for example, 11:59 pm, with strict SOPs, while takeaways will be allowed,” the notification read.
‘Saturdays and Sundays closed days on national level’
In addition to the complete closure of cinemas and shrines, the NCOC announced that amusement parks, too, will remain closed. The forum also decided to implement “broader lockdowns”, with stringent enforcement protocols where no mobility will be allowed except in emergency situations. Saturdays and Sundays will be observed as closed days at the national level, read the notification issued by the coronavirus monitoring body.
Market timings will be from Sehri till 6pm. For Taraweeh prayers, the NCOC said it should be organised in open spaces as far as possible. The forum called for civil administration at every tier to engage Ulemas and community leaders for assistance in the enforcement of COVID-19 SOPs during Ramadan. In addition, the coronavirus monitoring body decided to ban inter-provincial transport on two closed days (Saturdays and Sundays) which will continue to be enforced till midnight April 25-26. However, it said the decision will be reviewed on April 20.
50% work from home policy
NCOC also announced to continue with the 50% work from home policy for all public and private offices, where intercity public transport is to operate at 50% of capacity. Stringent protocols for tourism have been imposed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir and tourist sites elsewhere. “Sentinel testing sites at every point/selected locations will be established,” the notification read.