Thursday November 30, 2023

ICT admin announces steps to ensure public safety in view of COVID 19

March 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has announced specific measures to ensure public safety and maintain peace and tranquility in the city in the wake of coronavirus.

It was the continuation of the order issued by the Ministry of Interior earlier to impose the Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Crpc) in Islamabad, said a notification issued by the ICT Administration.

It said the decision was taken on the recommendations of the public health expert so as to ensure public safety, conserve lives, and maintain peace and tranquility in the territorial jurisdiction of Islamabad.

“All markets, shopping malls, restaurants and private offices shall remain closed. Public offices will function from 10:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. except on Friday for which timing will be 10:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m.,” it said. Intra-city, inter-district and inter-province movements of people by public transport have been banned in the city while the metro bus service of Rawalpindi and Islamabad would be allowed to operate for four hours a day, it added.

It said the bus will remain functional from 08:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 03:30 p.m. to 05:30. Friday timing for the metro would be 08:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 02:30 p.m.

The passengers have to keep a distance of one seat during their travel through the bus. The cabs are allowed to operate for which a separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued soon, it added.

There shall also be a complete ban on all kinds of gatherings including social and religious at any place such as public or private. ‘Langar Khannas’ (food centre) and ‘Panagahs’ (shelter home) shall remain functional and Islamabad Administration will also establish ‘ration’ warehouses for the needy and underprivileged.

“The Out Door Patient Departments in all hospitals would remain suspended. However, emergency services would remain operational. Construction work in the capital is allowed once it is cleared by the Industries and Labour Department of ICT regarding the precautionary measures taken at the place for the workers.

The administration exempted some segments of the society from this order, which included officials of government departments on duly notified by respective departments/ ministries, health professionals, the Law Enforcement Agencies’ personnel, media persons and newspaper hawkers.

It also included personnel related to public service departments and organizations, patients along with two attendants and citizens visiting their respective area’s markets. The people, who are to be performing unavoidable religious rites like the last rites, ‘Namaz-e-Janaza’, burial and related events, are also exempt from the order.

Apart from people, the utility companies, relevant directorates/wings of the Capital Development Authority, Islamabad Electric Supply Company, Pakistan Telecommunication Limited and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and essential services of the Metropolitan Cooperation are also exempted from the order.

Public and private telecom/cellular companies, their franchise and their customer support center with no public dealing are allowed with minimum possible attendance at their compounds.

Call centers with 50% staff and no public dealing would also be allowed to operate. Banks with only essential staff and specific timing to be notified by the State Bank of Pakistan, Defense related manufacturing and packing facilities, food items manufacturing industries and distributions would also remain operational.

Health establishments, grocery stores, general stores, bakeries, flour mills, milk shops, chicken and meat, wheat grinding mills, fruit and vegetable shops and big markets, tandoor, workshop and petrol pumps, take away/ home delivery from restaurants, dry port operations and custom services, poultry feed mills and welfare organizations were also allowed to operate.

The SOPs for the attendance, timings and days would be determined by the ICT administrator. Following is the text of order: Following conditions will apply to the persons/establishments given exemptions: (i) Preferably one person may travel in a private vehicle. In case of medical emergency two attendants may accompany the patients.

(ii) Two persons per family may go out to buy essential medicines, grocery, etc. Handicapped persons may be assisted by two persons along with a driver.

(iii) Persons on vehicles transporting essential food items, medicines, medical equipment from godowns, farms, mills or factories may be assisted by two helpers or cleaners during the


(iv) All persons traveling as exempted, must carry CNIC and official card.

(v) All the personnel of the exempted departments must travel and work keeping in view the policy of social distancing.

(vi) Large departmental stores will only keep their grocery/pharmacy section open while all other sections will remain closed.

They will allow the customers to enter stores in smaller groups while fulfilling the condition of social distancing. SOP will be issued separately.

(vii)All departmental stores will ensure that their groceries trolleys and public use areas are disinfected and their staff shall properly take all precautionary measures. This order will come into force with immediate effect till Tuesday till April 7, 2020.