Islamabad: In line with the decisions of the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) made last month during a meeting, authorities in Pakistan are imposing complete and countrywide lockdown from May 8 (Saturday) for the next ten days.
The government has already declared May 8-15 as Eid holidays followed by Sunday and there will be a complete ban on unnecessary movement of people and gathering of any kind at any place during these ten days.
Besides, all tourist spots, picnic places, including beaches, recreational parks shall remain closed for the public except essential services, bakery, food and milk shops or medical and pharmaceutical stores etc.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has cautioned that COVID-19 cases might rise again if precautions are not taken during “this ‘critical period’ when we are seeing the last days of the month of Ramadan while Eid is fast approaching.”
Dr Faisal Sultan who was participating in a webinar said there were some ‘initial signs of stability’ in the third wave of Covid-19 in Pakistan. However, he emphasized it was also a ‘very risky period’ as we see during this period a kind of shopping frenzy.
“We are today in the midst of the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said adding the public alone could make the battle against the virus successful by strictly following COVID-19 SOPs.
In order to restrict public movement during the Eid holidays, the provincial governments of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have already notified enforcement of complete lockdown from May 8 to 15.
All public transport and tourist destinations will remain closed during the holidays and police, rangers, and army personnel will be deployed at the checkpoints to be set up at the entry and exit points of all the cities in these provinces.
Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiative Asad Umar in a tweet urged the people to celebrate Eid in a ‘simple way’ to support the government’s efforts against COVID-19.
In a tweet, the minister asked the public to spend “this important time together while being cautious.”
Pakistan on Friday reported 140 deaths and 4,298 new cases of COVID-19 in the last twenty-four hours. The country passed the grim milestone of 850,000 cases in total while the total death toll has climbed to 18,677, according to the NCOC statistics.
The total number of recoveries reported across the country stand at 747,755 while the active cases have risen to 83,699.
Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio stands at 9.58 per cent, the NCOC data further reveals.