–Metro bus passengers to follow strict SOPs, keep distance of at least one seat during journey
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration on Wednesday announced extra measures to ensure public safety and maintain peace and tranquility in the city in the wake of coronavirus.
According to the details, the decision was taken on the recommendations of public health experts so as to ensure public safety, conserve lives, and maintain peace and tranquillity in the capital.
“All markets, shopping malls, restaurants and private offices shall remain closed. Public offices will function from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm except on Friday for which timing will be 10:00 am to 01:00 pm,” said an order issued by the Ministry of Interior.
Intra-city, inter-district and inter-province movements of people by public transport have been banned; however, Metro bus service of Rawalpindi and Islamabad would be allowed to operate for four hours a day, it added.
The bus will remain functional from 8:30 am to 10:30 am and then from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Friday timings for the service would be from 8:30 am to 10:30 am and from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. All passengers would have to keep a distance of at least one seat during their journey.
“Cabs are also allowed to operate but we will issue a separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for them soon,” the order 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 (ODPDs) in all hospitals would remain suspended. However, emergency services would remain operational.
Construction work would be allowed once it is cleared by the Industries and Labour Department regarding the precautionary measures taken at the place for the workers.
The administration exempted some segments of the society from this order, including officials of government departments duly notified by respective departments, health professionals, law enforcement personnel, media persons and newspaper hawkers.
Personnel related to public service departments and organisations, patients along with two attendants and citizens visiting their respective area’s markets. The people, who have to perform unavoidable religious rites like the last rites, namaz-e-janaza, burial and related events, are also exempt from the order.
Apart from people, utility companies, relevant directorates/wings of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and essential services of the Metropolitan Cooperation are also exempted from the order.
Public and private telecom and cellular companies, their franchise and their customer support centre with no public dealing are allowed with minimum possible attendance at their compounds. Call centres with 50 per cent 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 (SBP), 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, Tandur, workshop and petrol pumps, take away/ home delivery from restaurants, dry port operations and custom services, poultry feed mills and welfare organisations were also allowed to operate.