Home PAKISTAN Unvaccinated citizens to face tighter restrictions from Sept 30

Unvaccinated citizens to face tighter restrictions from Sept 30

Covid-19 restrictions relaxed in 18 of 24 districts; lockdown to continue till end of September


ISLAMABAD:

National Command and Operation Centre chief Asad Umar announced on Tuesday that citizens who were not completely vaccinated by September 30 will face stricter restrictions.

The announcement came during a press conference where Umar – who is also the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives – stated that gradually restrictions will be eased from schools, businesses and different sectors.

However, those who remain unvaccinated, despite being told to do so by doctors and experts and the thousands of vaccination centers available to them, will face more restrictions, he said. They will be not allowed in situations where they may harm others’ health.

According to the NCOC chief, those who are not fully vaccinated by September 30 cannot:

  • Work at educational institutes, including teachers, staff and bus drivers
  • Travel inter-city or abroad by plane
  • Both workers and shoppers cannot enter shopping malls
  • Book rooms at hotels or guesthouses
  • Attend weddings; dine indoor or outdoor

“These are five big activities that you will be prevented from participating in if you are not completely vaccinated,” he said, reiterating that individuals must receive both doses of the anti-Covid jab by September 30.

Lockdown across country

Asad Umar announced that Covid induced restrictions in 18 of 24 districts have been relaxed.

Read Delta variant proving deadlier

He stated that these 18 districts had shown improvement and would thus have more relaxed curbs, similar to those in the rest of the country.

Previously, the government had announced lockdown in 24 districts, including the federal capital, where all private and public educational institutions were closed as the ongoing fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic intensified. This lockdown was then extended till September 15.

The remaining six districts will remain in lockdown, he added. These included Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujrat and Sargodha in Punjab, and Banu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to the NCOC chief, there is a change in the lockdown restrictions for these six districts:

  • Inter-city public transport shall now be permitted, with vehicles operating at 50% capacity
  • Educational institutions will reopen from September 16, following a staggered attendance with 50% of students present
  • Outdoor dining timings extended to midnight; indoor dining to remain closed
  • Amusement parks and gyms will be open to those fully vaccinated; amusement parks to function at 50% capacity
  • Outdoor gatherings with upto 400 people permitted; indoor gatherings banned

Moreover, he announced that the lockdown across the entire country has been extended till September 30.

“5,300 Covid patients in hospitals were on oxygen beds or on ventilators,” Umar said, adding that the oxygen demand – which was carefully being monitored – had increased twofold during the fourth wave.

Also read Govt expands Covid-19 vaccination campaign to children aged 15

He maintained that the burden on hospitals had increased, and despite the fourth wave reducing the dangers of Covid persist.

Vaccinations

“It is important that the vaccination process continues and is accelerated,” he stated, adding that complete vaccination was mandatory to reduce the pressure on the healthcare system and continue the wheel of life.

Umar hoped that the nation achieves the “tough, but not impossible” target of vaccinating 40% of the population above 15 years of age by September 30, particularly in large cities.

“If this target is achieved by the end of September, then restrictions can be eased. This is the only way out,” he maintained.

Addressing those who thought this target was impossible, Umar stated that 52% of Islamabad’s population had been vaccinated.

“There is no reason why other cities cannot achieve this goal as well,” he said, urging all those with one dose remaining to get their second jab.

Umar also requested vaccination facilities to make it easier for citizens to receive the vaccine.

 



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