Pak bans all gatherings as it fights third wave of pandemic

Wednesday 31st March 2021 06:23 EDT

Islamabad: As the third wave of the Covid pandemic grips Pakistan with a fresh surge in infections, the Imran Khan government on Sunday announced a complete ban on all kinds of gatherings, including weddings, from April 5 onwards.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), a body mandated to implement the government’s decisions on checking the pandemic, after the country reported 4,767 new cases and 57 deaths in a single day. Federal minister for planning and development Asad Umar chaired the meeting which was attended by the chief secretaries of all four provinces via video link.

“Under the guidelines of the recent session, NCOC will provide updated hotspot maps to provinces for enforcement of expanded lockdowns with effect from 29th March,” read a statement released by the NCOC. “There will be a complete ban on weddings, both indoor and outdoor. All social, cultural, political, sports and other events are also banned. Provinces will be at a liberty to implement curbs as per the situation on ground,” NCOC said.

The NCOC said that the government is also mulling more curbs on inter-provincial travelling. However, the final decision will be taken based on the input from all provinces and an analysis of the data about the number of inter-provincial commuters via air, rail and road, the NCOC said.

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