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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Asad Umar warns of strict lockdown if COVID-19 SOPs are not followed

He has cautioned citizens to follow COVID-19 SOPs.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, on Thursday has warned of strict lockdown if people continue to violate COVID-19 in Pakistan.

Punjab Government has already implemented smart lockdowns in several cities in Punjab due to the rising cases of coronavirus

“A sharp spike in covid positivity. Hospital daily admissions & people in critical care rising fast. If sop compliance does not improve, we will be forced to place stronger restrictions on activities. Please be very very careful. The new strain spreads faster and is more deadly,” said Asad Umar in a tweet.

Asad Umar also chairs NCOC (National Command and Operations Control) a body that has been leading a fight against coronavirus in Pakistan.

Umar said the government will be forced to move towards tough restrictions and lockdowns if COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the country. Hence, he has cautioned citizens to follow COVID-19 SOPs.

Lockdowns in several areas of Pakistan have returned just a few days after the government had lifted remaining restrictions on public activities.

Education institutions in several cities of Punjab have been shut down again.

NCOC was informed on Thursday about a sharp spike in coronavirus cases in Pakistan with a positivity rate crossing 7.5%.

Read more: Coronavirus vaccines available to all as Pakistan joins UN campaign

“The forum was briefed that a sharply rising trend in disease is visible and positivity has crossed 7.5%,” said a statement issued by the NCOC. It added that the “all major cities have crossed 5% positivity” threshold.

“NCOC was apprised that implementation on those guidelines needs comprehensive review,” the statement said. The body expressed “serious concerns on rising disease trend and mortality rate”.

The body has directed provincial administrating units to take immediate actions for the strict implementation of SOPs.

The NCOC shared that it had received reports of “mass violations of SOPs and disrespect of orders including not wearing of a mask, disregard of social distancing” from across the country.

Read more: Pakistan to lift all coronavirus restrictions on commercial activities

The body has appealed to citizens to show once again “a good example of social behavior and follow the SOPs in letter and spirit”.