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May 16, 2021

Corona lockdown eases from today

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday decided to allow all inter-city and intra-city public transport will functioning from today (Sunday), a day before the earlier plan of May 17. All markets and shops will remain open till 8pm from May 17 onwards. Normal working hours for offices will be resumed from May 17 onwards with the condition of 50% work from home.

A special session of the body managing the country's coronavirus response was held Saturday to review the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) throughout the "stay home, stay safe" May 8 to 16. The revised decision has been taken to enable government employees, whose Eid holidays ending on Sunday, return from native towns.

The meeting was chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and co-chaired by National Coordinator Lieutenant General Hamood Uz Zaman Khan. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan also participated, while the provincial chief secretaries attended the session through video link. According to a statement from NCOC, the inter-provincial, inter-city and intra-city public transport will resume from May 16 instead of previously given date of May 17.

The transport will, however, be operative with 50% occupancy of passengers. Railways will maintain its operation with 70% occupancy. According to the statement, a review of the remaining guidelines will be carried out on May 19. The statement says the forum "expressed satisfaction on compliance" of SOPs during Eid holidays. Forum appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders especially the cooperation rendered by public across the country. The forum emphasised on the continued monitoring of SOP enforcement and appealed to public for adherence of these SOPs. The NCOC also urged the public to ensure prior registration on 1166 prior to walking in for vaccination.

Meanwhile, the NCOC data for the last 24 hours shows considerable reduction in national positivity ratio to 5.06 percent as another 1,351 people were tested positive for COVID-19 during this time. Another 83 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 19,467. The number of active cases stands at 71,804.