No total lockdown, says NCC
Despite a significant increase in the total number of Covid-19 cases, the National Coordination Committee on Wednesday said that it was not going to go ahead with a complete lockdown.
The NCC held that it will continue to endorse all standard operating procedures in the country to contain the virus which were earlier announced by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) last month including: strict implementation of the SOPs at public places and reduction in timings for markets and commercial activities.
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The government had earlier announced partial lockdowns in 11 most-risky cities in the country in an effort towards containing the Covid-19 virus. The government has said that the lockdowns could be extended beyond the 11 cities but has decided against it.
The NCC meeting was held under the leadership of PM Imran Khan agreed to continue smart lockdown policy and implement the NCOC decisions and recommendations.
The meeting was attended by relevant health professionals as well as the chief ministers of the four provinces through video link.
As per the official press release, PM Khan advised all stakeholders to maintain a balance between disease control measures and livelihood of people. He particularly called for ramping up hospital care to cater for any rise in Covid-19 cases, particularly critical care equipment.
Speaking to the media, PM Khan said that “we have decided that we will not close down businesses and industries. In case of the rise in coronavirus cases, we will close only those things which do not damage the industries. Otherwise, we will run the businesses and industries, but with SOPs.”
On the other hand, the government’s top man for Covid-19 control, Planning Minister Asad Umar said the government will have to continue the smart lockdown policy to contain the second wave of Covid-19.
He further said the strategy to implement smart lockdown and protecting employment opportunities at the same time were hallmarks of the government during the pandemic.