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Social Distancing Is the Best Policy: NCOC

Provincial and ICT administrations also directed to tighten implementation of SOPs, says Asad Umar

ISLAMBAD: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) chief and Minister for Planning on Monday Asad Umar revealed that it has been decided to increase restrictions on activities contributing to a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases.

“The provincial and ICT administration were also directed to tighten implementation of SOPs and crackdown on violations which are taking place,” the minister said in a tweet after a meeting of the forum.

The NCOC met today to take major decisions aimed at containing the unabated spread of coronavirus pandemic, as the third wave of the disease intensified.

Pakistan reported 3,669 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s Covid-19 tally to 630,471.

The country’s death toll climbed to 13,863 after 20 people succumbed to the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, 1,686 patients recovered from the virus in a day taking total recoveries to 583,538.

Earlier, it was reported that the NCOC would also consider a proposal to close schools that were open for examinations. “Violations of the SOPs [standard operating procedures] are being reported in most of the schools, where examinations are being conducted,” said a source.

Another proposal that was to be discussed in the NCOC pertained to the shopkeepers not complying with the (SOPs), the source said.

“Under section 188 [of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)], shopkeepers in Islamabad who do not comply with SOPs will be arrested,” the source added.

Many shops in Islamabad’s Aabpara area were closed on March 21. Some shopkeepers were also detained for not implementing the SOPs at their shops. However, the NCOC is likely to decide what action to be taken in case of violation of the SOPs in the markets.

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