Provinces directed to ensure compliance with coronavirus guidelines

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday directed chief ministers of all four provinces to ensure adherence to the directions of the authority to deal with a third wave of Covid-19.

In a letter, Minister for Planning and Development Adad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, said: “Violations of NCOC instructions, specifically in political and social gatherings have been observed.”

“These violations have been obstructing effective enforcement of SOPs in other sectors too and sending wrong signals to the general public,” the letter read.

“In view of the surge in cases and corresponding pressure on the healthcare system, may I request you to ensure employment of all administrative tools for across-the-board implementation of NCOC’s instructions, especially those related to public gatherings.”

The letter expressed hope the nation by adopting precautions “will be able to thwart further spread of this contagion with our collective efforts.”

Coronavirus cases are rising quickly in the country. The authorities on Tuesday recorded 663,200 infections and 14,356 coronavirus-related deaths, with 4,084 infections and 100 deaths.

On Monday, President Arif Alvi tested positive for Covid-19. Soon after, Defense Minister Pervez Khattak also said he had tested positive.

Meanwhile, the government is in the process of introducing stricter restrictions including bans on wedding ceremonies and large gatherings.

Pakistan launched its vaccine drive earlier this month, inoculating healthcare workers and high-risk age groups.

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