NCOC seeks banning public gatherings

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Tuesday reportedly recommended the government to impose a ban on any public gathering including political rallies to contain the reemergence of COVID-19.
The NCOC, designed for a rapid collective response to the global pandemic outbreak, put forward its recommendations yesterday in the National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting comprising government heads and assistants across provinces and the centre, the sources confirmed.
However, reluctant to give approval to the recommendations, Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to the sources in NCC, noted the opposition will have the opportunity to play the victim if political assemblies are restricted amid COVID-19 second wave.
The NCC nevertheless noted, said the sources, that the provincial governments and district administrations have been duly apprised of the Standard Operating Procedures in granting approvals to processions and assemblies.
The PM has instructed the NCOC to ensure a close inspection of COVID-19 situation in the country keeping in view the recent reports that suggested a hike in the infectivity.He concluded that if the situation of cases gets out of control and the efforts to contain infectivity is not effective anymore, the shutdown of schools, marriage halls and other public gatherings can be advised.
It is pertinent to note that Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah announced earlier today that as many as 222 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported in the province during the past 24-hours.
Giving a routine daily update over the virus tally in the province, the chief minister said that more than half of the COVID-19 cases in the province, that is 136, were reported from Karachi in the very period.