Pakistan covid vaccine
A health worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a colleague at the Dow University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Islamabad: In view of the declining new cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has allowed commercial activities across the country but on a limited scale and under all the coronavirus health protocols.

According to a statement, the NCOC after a comprehensive review of the existing situation of COVID-19, has decided to grant permission to the marriage halls to hold indoor wedding ceremonies from March 15. Similarly, cinemas, theatres and shrines have also been allowed to resume normal working from mid-March.

The NCOC has also removed the 50 per cent attendance condition at workplaces with immediate effect.

The list of relaxations includes the permission to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local bodies’ polls in May or June this year.

The NCOC has also increased the upper limit of spectators’ number attending Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches to 50 per cent from the present 20pc and also approved full attendance under SOPs during play-offs with stringent standard operating procedures.

Indoor dining

The decision to allow indoor dining to the restaurants however, has been delayed. According to the NCOC statement another meeting will be held on March 10 to review the situation. However, the statement said the decisions could be reviewed in case infection rate rose again.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Thursday announced that schools across the country would resume regular 5-day classes from Monday, March 1.

By returning to the normal hours, the schools will end almost a year of online classes which were implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a tweet, Shafqat Mehmood shared the ‘important’ news that all schools would go back to regular 5-day classes from Monday March 1.

“Restrictions imposed in some major cities on schools to conduct staggered classes were only till Feb 28,” the minister further announced.

Pakistan on Thursday reported 64 deaths and 1,361 new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours. With these latest figures, the tally of cases has surged to 575,941 and the death toll has reached 12,772.

According to the official portal of the Health Ministry, the number of critical cases too has increased from 1,200 to 1,500 in the country while the active cases stand at 23,281.

In the same period of twenty-four hours 1,681 persons were recovered too from the virus taking the overall tally of recoveries to 539,888.