The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to ban indoor dining, weddings, and gatherings in Islamabad. The ban on indoor activities will be effective from 24th January 2022. Areas with more than 10 percent positivity of COVID-19 cases will undergo lockdown. This decision is to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Ban on Indoor Activities
A Twitter post by the Office of Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad announced the closing of indoor activities. The post mentioned that the decision to ban all indoor activities including indoor dining, weddings, gatherings will commence from the 24th of January.
The implementation of the interventions given by NCOC depends on the positivity rate of the areas. Indoor activities, including dining and weddings, of up to 300 individuals will only take place in areas with a positivity rate of less than 10 percent. Whereas the ban on indoor dining will be implemented in areas with a positivity rate of more than 10 percent with outdoor gatherings of only 300 people. Meanwhile, increased coronavirus cases led to the sealing of several educational institutions in Islamabad and Karachi. These institutions had a positivity rate of more than 10 percent.
Fifth COVID Wave in Pakistan
After a series of meetings, NCOC gave out new directives to tackle the rapid rise of COVID cases in Pakistan. According to the latest statistics, 5,472 new coronavirus cases were reported in a day. These are the highest single-day cases since August 2021. Karachi has the highest recorded positivity rate of 40.13 percent, followed by 15.15 percent in Lahore, 11.80 percent in Islamabad, and 10.26 percent in Rawalpindi.
NCOC gave out these restrictions as the new COVID variant, Omicron, continues to endanger the lives of the people. As of now, Pakistan is in the grip of the fifth wave of coronavirus. While the restrictions are absolutely necessary, they gravely affect the restaurant’s business. The revenue generated by the restaurants decreases that in turn leads to downsizing. Government should also come up with ways to support the restaurant industry in order to deal with the consequences of lockdown.