Sunday July 21, 2024

NCOC to relax COVID-19 curbs in Punjab, KP districts from September 23

The principal body governing, implementing national COVID-19 efforts announces decision at a meeting headed by Asad Umar

By Amina Amir
September 21, 2021
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar giving a press briefing. Photo: Screenshot via Geo News.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar giving a press briefing. Photo: Screenshot via Geo News. 

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday decided to ease additional restrictions in districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after September 23.

A meeting of the NCOC, headed by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, announced the new orders on Tuesday after observing a decline in the transmission of the disease in districts where the prevalence of the disease was high.

According to the new orders, curbs have been loosened in five districts of Punjab, including Lahore, Faislabad, Multan, Gujrat, and Sargodha, and the Bannu district of KP. 

However, the general coronavirus-related restrictions will remain in place throughout the country till September 30. 

The NCOC will review the suggestion regarding easing general restrictions on September 28.

Last week, the NCOC chairman had announced that strict restrictions from 24 districts throughout the country were being lifted except for the aforementioned six districts.

The general restrictions that are to remain in place in the country are as follows:

  • All the trade and business activities will be allowed to function till 10pm and remain suspended once a week.
  • Essential services, such as pharmacies, medical stores, other medical facilities, hearing and optical aid centres, and vaccination centres; petrol pumps, tandoors, and milk shops are exempt from the restricted timings and will function 24-hours a day for the entire week, a notification said.


Indoor and outdoor dining will be allowed till 11:59 pm, while indoor dining is limited to only 50% occupancy of only vaccinated individuals.

Weddings and events

Under the general restrictions which will remain in place, indoor weddings will be allowed with a maximum of 200 vaccinated guests, while outdoor weddings will be allowed with a maximum limit of 400 vaccinated guests. Same are the conditions for any other indoor and outdoor gatherings or events, respectively.

Transport and offices

All the public transport will be allowed to function with an occupancy level of 50%, while the railways shall continue to operate with a maximum occupancy of 70%. There will be a complete ban on snacks serving to the passengers in all public transport services including domestic air travel.

For offices and establishments, 100% attendance will be allowed during normal working hours.


The federating units will ensure the policy of controlled tourism for only vaccinated people.

Other activities

Shrines will be allowed to reopen at the discretion of federating units or local administrations; gyms will remain open for vaccinated individuals only; amusement and recreation activities will be allowed with 50% occupancy while cinemas and sports activities will remain closed.

All the services and activities allowed to operate will be subjected to compulsory mask-wearing.

It was stated at the meeting that the NCOC is closely monitoring the situation of disease transmission and the healthcare system therefore decisions will be taken in accordance with the requirement in case there is a need to control the spread of the virus.

The citizens have been advised to get inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine at the earliest, keeping in view the availability of the said vaccine in abundant amounts.

The meeting observed that the rate of coronavirus positivity in Karachi and Lahore dropped down to 7% in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan reports less than 2,000 daily COVID-19 cases for first time in two months

Pakistan on Tuesday reported 1,897 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the lowest number of single-day infections in the last two months.

The country last reported a similar daily case count at 1,841 cases on July 24.

Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity rate also dropped to the lowest figure, 4.10%, since July 11 as the virus cases continue to decline in the country.

According to the NCOC, Pakistan’s total number of cases after the latest additions climbed to 1,227,905 while 81 deaths in the last 24 hours took the death toll to 27,327 in the country. Most deaths occurred in Punjab followed by Sindh.

The NCOC said Pakistan conducted 46,231 tests of the infection in the last 24 hours. At least 2,618 people, meanwhile, recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of recoveries to 1,137,656.

The number of active cases stands at 62,922. The active cases have fallen consistently over the last week. Among the active cases, 4,846 patients are under critical care.