The Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar said that the government has decided to close indoor restaurants across the country to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. He said this ban will not be valid for food stalls operating in open spaces.
According to media reports, the decision has been taken the National Coordination Committee in a meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair. The Details of the meeting has been given by the Planning Minister while briefing the media after the meeting.
Asad Umar has said that the government also imposed ban on holding public gatherings in view of increasing intensity and severity of second wave of the pandemic. He appealed the political leadership of the country to avoid organizing public rallies to prevent spread of the contagion.
“Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar has convened a meeting of the parliamentary committee on COVID-19 tomorrow and it is hoped that leadership of all the political parties will attend the sitting to evolve a common strategy to contain spread of the virus by desisting from holding mass rallies,” he said.
He urged the people to realize severity of the second wave of the novel coronavirus as at present around 1,750 people are on oxygen and in a critical condition. He appealed the people to strictly observe SOPs, including wearing of masks, avoiding hand shaking, frequent hand washing, social distancing.
The Planning Minister further stated that the NCC also validated decisions taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) regarding closure of schools.
“Provincial governments have been asked to consult Ulema, requesting them to appeal Namazis to observe SOPs in mosques so that prayer and protection of health can go side by side,” he added.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health, Dr Faisal Sultan said on the occasion that 2,900 new cases have been reported during the last 24 hours, while 212 affected patients have admitted to hospitals, while mortality rate has increased to 7.2 percent.
“Pakistan has successfully overcome the first wave of the pandemic due to observance of a disciplined response to the virus by strictly following the SOPs,” he added.