pakistan covid vaccine
A resident receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination facility in Karachi. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: In the wake of fall in the number of COVID-19 cases and boost in recovery rate, Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the premiere monitoring body for the coronavirus situation in the country, has eased COVID-19 related restrictions in the country allowing businesses to stay open seven days a week.

Earlier, there was a mandatory restricting order to close businesses for a day in the week. However, noting a significant drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, the NCOC has decided to lift the restriction.

Besides, the government has also allowed wedding halls to raise the number of guests from 200 to 300 for indoor functions while for outdoor marriage events, up to 500 guests are now allowed.

According to a statement issued by the NCOC, cinemas and shrines can also be visited by the citizens who are fully vaccinated.

Visitors are required to produce evidence - a vaccination certificate confirming they are fully vaccinated.

Minister grateful to nation

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar who also heads the NCOC, has advised people to get inoculated at the earliest. While sharing the results of the Gallup Pakistan survey, in his tweet, the minister shared the findings of the survey that showed as many as 86 per cent of the Pakistani people believe COVID-19 would be controlled soon.

“We are thankful to the nation from the core of our hearts for their confidence on us. But, it will only be possible if people go for vaccination as soon as possible otherwise there is a high risk of COVID-19 spreading with the advent of winter,” he said.

13,848 recovered in a day

Pakistan on Saturday reported a boost in recovery rate against COVID-19 as 13,848 patients recovered from the deadly virus in the last 24 hours. After the latest addition in the number of recovered cases, Pakistan’s tally of recoveries stands at 1.20 million.

Meanwhile, 893 new infections of COVID-19 were reported against 52,589 tests conducted during the last 24 hours. The country’s COVID-19 positivity thus dropped to 1.62 per cent, according to the NCOC’s official Twitter handle.

The country’s fatality rate has also dropped and in the last 24 hours, 24 deaths were reported taking the toll to 28,252. Another encouraging indicator is the drop in number of active cases from 40,000 to 26,970 in a period of 24 hours.

Dengue continues

Though health authorities are rejoicing at almost eliminating coronavirus from the country, their efforts against dengue virus seem futile as the virus situation is worsening particularly in Punjab and Islamabad.

According to the Punjab Primary and Secondary Health Department (PSHD) 508 new cases were found in the province — 373 in Lahore alone — during the last 24 hours while the death toll due to dengue virus stands at 18.

There are 6,189 dengue patients in the province of which 1,506 are under treatment at different hospitals, the provincial health department said on its Twitter handle.

In Islamabad, too, dengue virus continues to strike in rural and urban areas and a day earlier on Friday, 121 new cases surfaced while one patient lost the battle against the virus. According to the health department of Islamabad, 62 patients were reported from the rural areas and 59 from the urban areas.