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In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus in the aftermath of the fourth wave of the pandemic, the Punjab Primary and Secondary Health Care Commission on Tuesday published new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for bazaars and public areas in four towns of the province, including Rawalpindi.
According to the notice issued by the commissioner’s office, it would stay in effect until August 31.
As per the new SOPs, all business centres would shut by 8 pm while no company will be permitted to function on Saturdays and Sundays. Medical services, pharmacies, vaccination centres, collection sites and labs will stay open round the clock seven days a week.
Similarly, grocery and general stores, grain, dairy shops, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors and fuel stations would remain untouched. The new timetable will not apply to tyre puncture shops, filling plants, workshops, spare-part stores and businesses selling agricultural equipment and machinery.
Indoor meetings, physical sports prohibited in ICT
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) government on Tuesday ordered non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as coronavirus infections increased in the federal capital.
According to the notice, all commercial activities/markets in Islamabad’s capital area will stay open until 8 pm. There would be a total prohibition on all kinds of indoor meetings, including cultural, musical, religious and other activities.
Amusement parks, swimming pools and water sports are closed but public parks will stay open under tight SOPs.
Moreover, regular office working hours for public and private offices would continue with 50 percent personnel. Indoor marriages will be prohibited from August 8 but outdoor weddings would be permitted with a limit of 400 guests until 10 pm under stringent procedures.
Indoor eating would be severely banned at cafes and restaurants while outside dining will be permitted until 10 pm under stringent SOPs with only takeout to be allowed.
The new SOPs say that shrines and movie halls would stay totally shut while there will be a complete prohibition on contact sports, including karate, water polo, kabaddi, and wrestling. Rail service will continue to operate with 70 percent occupancy whereas the occupancy level of public transport has been lowered from 70 percent to 50 percent .