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NCOC announces stricter restrictions amid looming fifth wave of COVID-19

The health ministry revised restrictions for cities with high COVID positivity ratio.

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NCOC announces stricter restrictions amid looming fifth wave of COVID-19
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: In a bid to curb the looming fifth wave of the COVID pandemic fuelled by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) Wednesday announced new stricter restrictions which will take effect on January 28.   

The health ministry revised restrictions for cities with high COVID positivity ratio.

The fifth wave of the pandemic has continued its upward trajectory in Pakistan, hence the country is tightening its COVID related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with each passing day.

Needless to say, the fifth wave of the corona is looming over Pakistan, pushing country to impose coronavirus SOPs for education and other sectors.

The new guidelines announced by NCOC include mandatory Covid-19 vaccination and possession of proof of Covid-19 vaccination, applicable for all children above 12 years of age.

Following the meeting, NCOC banned indoor dining completely, while granted permission to outdoor gatherings, including weddings, with a cap of fully vaccinated 300 guests — applicable from January 24.

As coronavirus continues its momentum, the cities and districts which have a positivity ratio of up to 10%, the classes will continue as usual, but with stringent COVID-19 rules intact.

Educational institutes have been directed to conduct classes daily for students above 12 years of age, with 50% attendance.

For students (fully vaccinated) over 12 years, the NCOC has recommended 100% attendance.

The revised restrictions were imposed during an NCOC session, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

The guidelines and SOPs have been applied on education, restaurant, entertainment and other sectors.

Moreover, public transport will be allowed to operate with 70% capacity, instructing people to wear masks throughout their journey, with complete effect from January 20. However, railways will operate with 80% occupancy level, starting January 24.

Authorities will meet again on January 27 to review the COVID-19 situation.

In the meantime, Pakistan has witnessed an enormous spike in its daily tally of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after as many as 5,472 new infections were logged in the last 24 hours, according to morning update by ministry of health.

Pakistan’s COVID positivity rate now stands at 9.48%. While, the cumulative tally of the country has now climbed to 1,338,993.  As many as 1,265,239 patients have recovered from the disease.  

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

Pakistan

Pakistan committed to promote environment of peace, stability in South Asia

"Pakistan adheres to the latest international standards on export controls and maintains the highest standards of nuclear safety and security"

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Pakistan committed to promote environment of peace, stability in South Asia

Islamabad: Pakistan is committed to the promotion of an environment of peace and stability in South Asia while preserving its capability to ward off aggression or adventurism in any form.

In a press release in connection with Youm-e-Takbeer being observed on Saturday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said the tests conducted in 1998 not only demonstrated the resolve of the Pakistani nation to safeguard the country's territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty, but also the desire to preserve strategic balance in South Asia.

He said we are partners in international efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime based on the principles of non-discrimination and equal security for all states.

The spokesperson said Pakistan adheres to the latest international standards on export controls and maintains the highest standards of nuclear safety and security.

He also paid tributes to its scientists, engineers and technicians in ensuring Pakistan's security saying that the nation also deeply appreciates the contributions of Pakistan's nuclear programme to the country's socio-economic development.

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Pakistan

Court extends interim bail of PM Shehbaz, Humza Shehbaz till June 4

The court allowed PM Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz to leave.

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Court extends interim bail of PM Shehbaz, Humza Shehbaz till June 4

Lahore: A special court in Lahore extended on Saturday the interim bail of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz until June 4 in the hearing of a Rs16 billion money laundering case against them.

According to details, a special court conducted a hearing of a money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz were present in the courtroom during the hearing.

Judge Ijaz Hassan Awan expressed resentment over the FIA's investigation officer’s report about arrest warrants of absconding accused Salman Shehbaz, Malik Maqsood and Tahir Naqvi.

The judge remarked that a report was submitted an year ago about sending notices to the accused to their addresses. Now, the report said that accused were not found at their concerned address. “Which of the reports to be believed”, he questioned.

Shehbaz Sharif’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz argued that the facts are wrong in the challan. The cases were made by using government machinery, the prosecution was aware that these could not be proved in the court, the counsel said.

The court allowed PM Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz to leave.

The counsel also argued over a plea for a permanent exemption to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the case.

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Pakistan

Govt coalition agrees on name of Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar as Chairman NAB

The government believes the Opposition Leader will also support the government's pick

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Govt coalition agrees on name of Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar as Chairman NAB

Islamabad: The government and its coalition partners have agreed on name of Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar as the new Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

According to sources privy with the development, the name of a former Supreme Court judge came under discussion during a meeting of Prime Minister Imran Khan and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Sources further said that Government believes the Opposition Leader of the National Assembly will also support the government pick as Maqbool Baqar’s judicial career is spotless.

Government members are hopeful that if all goes smoothly, Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar will be the new head of the anti-graft watchdog. 

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