Pakistan Announces Fifth-Wave Coronavirus Response, Imposes Restrictions

Pakistan Announces Fifth-Wave Coronavirus Response, Imposes Restrictions
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has issued revised coronavirus guidelines today, with a two-tiered structure for restrictions placed on the education, restaurant, gym and entertainment sectors, among others.

Restrictions will depend on the rate of coronavirus in a particular city or district, hinging upon whether the positivity rate remains below or above 10 per cent on a three-day rolling average.

In areas with positivity rates higher than 10 per cent, classes for children under 12-years-old will continue on staggered days, while fully-vaccinated children above the age of 12 will continue with daily classes.

Indoor gatherings, including weddings and restaurants, will be banned in municipalities with a high positivity rate of coronavirus cases.  Gyms, cinemas, shrines and amusement parks will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

In areas with fewer cases of coronavirus, where the positivity rate is under 10 per cent, daily classes will continue as usual for children of all ages.  Indoor dining, gyms and cinemas will remain open for the fully vaccinated.  Additionally, weddings will be capped at 300 guests for indoor celebrations and 500 guests for events taking place outside.

"Aggressive sentinel testing in educational institutions will be carried out for targeted closures in high disease prevalence education institutes," the NCOC said, adding that children above the age of 12 will be required to receive at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

As of Wednesday morning, the national positivity rate was 9.5 per cent, with the NCOC reporting 5,472 new cases in the past 24 hours.