By Desk Report
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Sunday banned inter-provincial travelling by road over the weekends.
“It has been decided to ban interprovincial transport for two days a week (Saturday and Sunday) with effect from April 10, at 12 am, to April 25, 12:59am,” said NCOC in a statement, reports Geo News.
The NCOC notified certain exemptions to the new restrictions, given below:
•Goods, freight, medical and other emergency services will be exempted.
•Railway to continue to operate 7 days a week with 70% occupancy.
Additionally, the ban will be reviewed by NCOC on April 20.
The announcement comes as the country saw more than 5,000 coronavirus cases and 81 deaths in the 24 hours.
Punjab reported the most number of fatalities — 43 — followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 23.
This takes the total number of infections to 687,908 cases and the death toll to 14,778.
According to NCOC, out of 81 patients who died the previous day, 74 were under treatment in hospital and seven in their respective quarantines or homes.
The maximum ventilators were occupied in four major areas including Multan 70 percent, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 54 percent, Gujranwala 60 percent and Lahore 65 percent.
The maximum Oxygen beds (alternative oxygen providing facility other than ventilator administered as per medical requirement of COVID patient) was also occupied in four major areas of Swat 71 percent, Gujranwala 85 percent, Peshawar 70 percent and Gujrat 78 percent.
Around 422 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country, while no affected person was on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan. Around 55,605 tests were conducted across the country on Saturday, including 9,347 in Sindh, 27,914 in Punjab, 8,681 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 7,498 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 938 in Balochistan, 389 in GB, and 838 in AJK.
Around 613,058 people have recovered so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients.
Since the pandemic outbreak, a total of 687,908 cases have been detected that also includes the perished, recovered and under treatment 9 patients so far, including AJK 13,321, Balochistan 19,734, GB 5,052, ICT 60,911, KP 91,439, Punjab 231,073 and Sindh 266,378. A total of 14,778 deaths have been recorded in country since the eruption of the contagion.
Around 4,509 patients have perished in Sindh, 6,572 in Punjab, 2,440 in KP, 579 in ICT, 211 in Balochistan, 103 in GB and 364 in AJK.
A total of 10,403,335 tests have been conducted so far, while 631 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities. In a parallel development, the Sindh government, that had been a strong proponent of inter-provincial transport ban for two weeks, has decided to suspend on-campus classes and other learning activities for students of pre-nursery to class 8, beginning April 6.
The classes will remain suspended for 15 days, said Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani in a tweet.
A handout issued in this regard on Sunday quoted the Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani as saying that a meeting of the Steering Committee of Sindh Education Department had been convened the other day on the direction of the Provincial Task Force on coronavirus.
The committee held consultation on the prevailing coronavirus situation in the province and decided to suspend teaching up to class 8 in the schools. Saeed Ghani said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chaired a meeting of the provincial Task Force Saturday evening and decided to suspend teaching up to class 8 in the government and private schools from April 06 to April 21.
The academic activities up to class 8th will continue via WhatsApp, email, or studies’ assignments given on a weekly basis by calling the parents to the schools.
Ghani said all these emergency precautionary steps were required to safeguard the health of students of junior classes against the fast spreading third wave of the coronavirus infections.