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Sunday May 22, 2022

NCOC decision awaited on closure of schools, fresh curbs

Restrictions will likely be imposed major cities where the COVID-19 positivity ratio is above 10%

By Web Desk
January 19, 2022
Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar speaks to media after chairing a meeting at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). -Screengrab Geo News
Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar speaks to media after chairing a meeting at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). -Screengrab Geo News

ISLAMABAD: People are anxiously waiting for an announcement by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) about the closure of schools and new restrictions as the COVID-19 situation continues to worsen with the daily caseload reaching an alarming level.

In its Monday meeting, the NCOC had said that a fresh set of COVID-19 protocols was discussed with provinces and will be implemented in the next 48 hours after a consultative process with all stakeholders.

The apex COVID-19 had decided to tighten the restrictions after discussing the epidemic curve chart data, national vaccine strategy and disease prevalence across the country.

The forum had also reviewed the virus spread with particular focus on the educational institutes and agreed that decision in this regard will be taken on data of positive cases of various institutions for which massive testing is being carried out.

The government is mulling different options in order to strike a balance between life and livelihood, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Dr Nausheen Hamid had said on Tuesday.


Positivity ratio in major cities

  1. Karachi — 40.13%
  2. Muzaffarabad — 21.43%
  3. Lahore — 15.15%
  4. Hyderabad — 13.98%
  5. Islamabad — 11.80%
  6. Peshawar — 10.68%
  7. Rawalpindi — 10.26%


Speaking on Geo News programme Geo Pakistan, Dr Hamid had said the government does not plan on closing schools where children above 12 years, staff, and teachers have been vaccinated.

The health official had said the NCOC is devising a strategy to keep checks and balances on public gatherings, which are a major reason for the spread of the virus. It will be formulated in a day or two, she had said.

She had said there is no need to impose blanket restrictions across the country and curbs will only be enforced where the positivity ratio is high — with Karachi at the top.

"Public gatherings will definitely be suspended in these cities and criteria is being set for it [...] the NCOC will have a strategy formulated in two to three days," Dr Hamid had said.