Lockdown imposed in 24 districts amid surging cases

Lockdown in 24 districts as Covid wave intensifies 2

Pakistan announced, on Friday, a lockdown in 24 districts, including Islamabad, as the fourth wave of coronavirus pandemic intensified.

Earlier yesterday, the NCOC team led by its chairperson Asad Umar briefed the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, about the surge in Covid-19 cases and the situation in intensive care Units in hospitals of different districts.

The meeting examined the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) of various districts. It was concluded that additional NPIs would be implemented in particular districts from September 4 to 12 to decrease the spread of disease.

The step to impose a lockdown in 15 districts of Punjab, 8 of KP and in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) for a week was locked in a meeting of the NCOC.

Following the NCOC meet up, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PERA) issued notifications announcing the closure of all educational institutions in Islamabad from September 6 to September 11.

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However, PERA Chairperson Zia Batool said federal board examinations would continue with strict compliance with the Covid standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Accordingly, in the next week, all educational institutions would be closed, inter-city transportation among districts with a high spread of coronavirus cases would be stopped, while all kinds of outdoor and indoor functions would be banned.

The NPIs have been imposed in the ICT, Khushab, Mianwali, Rahimyar Khan, Sargodha, Khanewal, Bhakkar, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sheikhupura, Haripur, Malakand, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Mansehra, Swabi, Peshawar and Abbottabad districts.

As per the government data, Pakistan reported a positivity ratio of less than 7% for the fourth consecutive day.

NCOC said that 64,053 COVID-19 tests had been conducted across the country in the last 24 hours, whereas 3,980 returned positive. Pakistan has recorded less than 4,000 daily infections throughout this week.

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