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Omicron threat: Sindh govt braces for new Covid curbs, allows schools to remain open

The provincial home department, in line with the NCOC's recommendations, has announced new curbs, which will be applicable from December 1-15.

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Omicron threat: Sindh govt braces for new Covid curbs, allows schools to remain open
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The Sindh government on Tuesday announced that educational activities would continue across the province, but at the same time, announced new curbs as it braces for omicron, the latest coronavirus variant.

Pakistan had last week announced a ban on entry from six southern African countries as well as Hong Kong "due to threat" from the new COVID-19 variant.

In a notification, the Sindh Home Department said the National Command and Operations Centre had placed Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar in "category B" (cities with good vaccination progress) while other cities of the province fell under "category C" (cities with low vaccination progress).

The home department, in line with the NCOC's recommendations, has therefore announced new curbs, which will be applicable from December 1-15. Indoor and outdoor gatherings are only allowed for vaccinated individuals with the following cap:

Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar — indoor 500 people and outdoor 1,000 people. Other cities, divisions — indoor 300 people and outdoor 1,000 people.

Indoor dining is only allowed for fully vaccinated individuals till 11:59pm. In Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar, it will be allowed at 70% occupancy, while in other cities and divisions, the maximum cap is 50%.

Outdoor dining is also allowed for fully vaccinated individuals throughout the province till 11:59pm. Takeaway and drive-through services can function 24/7, given that they follow

Indoor and outdoor ceremonies are allowed only for fully vaccinated individuals. Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar — indoor 500 individuals and outdoor 1,000 individuals.

Other cities, divisions — indoor 300 individuals and outdoor 1,000 individuals.

Markets and business activities can continue till 10pm, while essential services — pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centres, petrol pumps, CNG stations, and others — can function 24/7.

Amusement parks, water sports, and swimming pools in individuals Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar can function at 70% occupancy, while in the remaining cities and divisions the cap is 50%.

Public parks, however, will remain open under strict COVID-19 protocols. Contact sports are allowed for fully vaccinated individuals.

Shrines will remain open, however, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to visit the places. Routine office timings will be followed and 100% attendance is permitted. The employees should be fully vaccinated.

Only fully vaccinated individuals can exercise at indoor gyms. Public transport can operate with 80% occupancy and only fully vaccinated individuals can benefit from the service. Wearing masks is mandatory.

Cinemas can entertain fully vaccinated individuals and can operate without time restrictions. Railways will operate with 80% occupancy and only fully vaccinated individuals can benefit from the service. Wearing masks is mandatory.

District administrations may impose broader lockdowns in areas under their jurisdiction. They can also smart and micro smart lockdowns in specified areas. Wearing masks shall be compulsory in public spaces.

All education institutes will follow 100% attendance with a focused campaign to vaccinate students above 12 years of age.

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Sports

Former Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Appointed Bowling Coach

The 37-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest pacers, particularly in T20 cricket

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Former Pakistan Pacer Umar Gul Appointed Bowling Coach

Kabul: Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has appointed former Pakistan speedster, Umar Gul, for a period of one year. Gul’s first assignment with the Afghanistan side will be on their limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe next month.

The former pacer has earlier worked with the board as a bowling consultant for their three-week training camp held in Dubai in April alongside mate Younis Khan as the batting coach.

However, on seeing his performance with the team, ACB is delighted to announce the extension in the role.

This will be Gul’s first coaching assignment in international cricket after serving as the bowling coach of Quetta Gladiators in the 2021 season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The 37-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest pacers, particularly in T20 cricket. Gul had an exceptional record in T20Is as he picked up 85 wickets at an average of 16.97 and an economy rate of 7.19 in 60 matches in a T20I career spanning almost 9 years. Gul retired from all forms of cricket in 2019 and has since worked as a coach.

The former pacer has previously coached in Pakistan’s premier T20 tournament, Pakistan Super League (PSL), as a bowling coach for Quetta Gladiators. He has also worked as a coach in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and was the head coach of Galle Gladiators in the previous edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL).

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Pakistan

Riots in Islamabad: Police register cases against PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Asad Umar

Riots in Islamabad: Police register cases against PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Asad Umar

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Riots in Islamabad: Police register cases against PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Asad Umar

Islamabad: The Islamabad police Thursday booked senior PTI leaders including chairman Imran Khan in a case for the riots that ocurred in the federal capital during the “Azadi March” on Wednesday.

Police also registered cases against PTI leaders Asad Umar, Imran Ismail, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Ali Nawaz Awan.

The police registered two separate cases at the Kohsar Police Station for "rioting and arson".

The first FIR was registered at the complaint of a sub-inspector (SI) named Asif Raza, while the second one was filed on behalf of SI Ghulam Sarwar. 

The cases have been registered against 150 people out of which 39 have been arrested. They also mention the burning of the metro bus stations at Islamabad's Jinnah Avenue, damaging a government vehicle at the Express Chowk, and breaking the glass windows of Geo News and Jang office. 

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Pakistan

Salman Sufi appointed head of PM’s Strategic Reforms

Salman Sufi, a Mother Teresa Award winner and an expert in introducing unique social welfare schemes, will render his services voluntarily. 

Published by Mehak Javed

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Salman Sufi appointed head of PM’s Strategic Reforms

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday appointed public policy expert Salman Sufi as the head of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms.

Salman Sufi, a Mother Teresa Award winner and an expert in introducing unique social welfare schemes, will render his services voluntarily. 

Mr. Salman has introduced a number of people-friendly schemes, including the Punjab Women Protection Act, Violence Against Women Centre, Women on Wheels and Shehr-e-Khamoshan. 

He has also served as Director General Strategic Reform Unit during Shehbaz Sharif’s Punjab chief ministership.

Salman Sufi was named one of the top five women’s rights activists in the world, including by the government of incumbent US President Joe Biden, and was also awarded the Vital Voices Award.

Additionally, the government has directed all ministries to make every effort to effectively implement the Prime Minister’s reform agenda. 

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