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October 14, 2020

NCOC says public gatherings should be discouraged

Top Story

October 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the prevalence of COVID-19 and its potential to spread quickly, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) has issued guidelines related to all types of public gatherings, saying guidelines have been prepared with input from the provinces.

According to the NCOC, public gathering means where people are assembled on any given space; indoor or outdoor, for some purpose such as cultural events, religious gatherings, sports events, entertainment/cultural events, parties, political gatherings or other similar events.

The NCOC suggested that public gatherings should be discouraged in view of their potential to become super spreaders -- preferably no public gathering be held except those related to economic activity. If holding of public gatherings is unavoidable, then these should be held in well-defined venues which facilitate enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPs) as under:

• Indoor events • Maximum participation to be 500 persons or 50 percent of capacity whichever is less.

• Duration of the event/activity should not exceed three hours.

• All persons would be seated -- no standing participation. Inter-chair distance to be minimum three feet or more.

• Outdoor events • Entry/exit control. • Density control. • Social distancing. • All persons would be seated – no standing participation. Inter-chair distance to be minimum three feet or more.

• Duration of the event/activity should not exceed three hours.

• Rallies/walks/gatherings on the roads, streets and other ill-defined places should be avoided.

• Organisers to be responsible for ensuring compliance of SOPs particularly masks, social distancing and provision of COVID-19 safety kit (a mask and a mini hand sanitizer) to each person.

Meanwhile, the NCOC session chaired by Asad Umar was informed that 3,497 smart lockdowns have been imposed in 103 districts across Pakistan. Asad Umar said that people’s proactive response have been the key in COVID-19 success so far. The people of Pakistan have shown great maturity and responsibility to not only protect themselves, but following guidelines to ensure other’s safety and wellbeing. He paid great tribute to media for their effective messaging for behaviour change and help in reaching out to masses. He said people of Pakistan and media are two important pillars which made the entire effort a success.