Tuesday September 21, 2021

Centre imposes new curbs to contain rising COVID-19 cases

Restrictions will be imposed in major cities from Aug 3 and will remain in place until Aug 31
August 02, 2021
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar. Photo: File.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar. Photo: File.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday said that the Federal Government has decided to impose some new curbs in major cities of Pakistan to control the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

Speaking during a press conference alongside the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, the minister said that all the decisions were taken after being approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Geo.tv reported.

The minister said that the new coronavirus restrictions will come into effect from Aug 3 and will remain in place until Aug 31.

In Punjab, restrictions will be imposed in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Multan; in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar and Abbottabad will have the new restrictions.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, restrictions will be imposed in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur, while in Gilgit-Baltistan, the new rules will apply to Gilgit and Skardu.

As for Sindh, Lockdowns are already in place in Karachi and Hyderabad, but after August 8, the NCOC's new curbs will also apply, the minister said.

"Sindh will decide the new course of action regarding restrictions in the province after August 8. If Sindh decides to relax its restrictions after August 8, then the new curbs announced by the NCOC today will come into effect," he said.

Per the new restrictions, all commercial activities will be suspended by 8pm instead of 10 pm, while indoor dining will remain banned. He said that outdoor dining will be allowed until 10pm instead of 12am, while takeaway and home-delivery services from restaurants will be allowed 24 hours a day.

The minister announced that public transport will operate on a 50% capacity to avoid crowding inside vehicles.

Shops and markets will remain closed twice a week, he said, adding that provincial governments will decide about the safe days.

Umar added that offices will continue to operate on a 50% capacity and appealed to the masses to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible.