Increased restrictions in major cities possible: Umar

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Says over 30m administered jabs: Faisal says health system of Karachi, Abbottabad, Islamabad under pressure
ISLAMABAD
National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Head Asad Umar has dropped a hint of increased Covid restrictions in major cities, saying recommendations in this regard will be submitted to the prime minister on Monday (today).
Addressing a news conference along with Special Assistant to PM on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan on Sunday, he said, “We will present our recommendations to the premier tomorrow, following which there’s a possibility of increased restrictions in some major cities.”
He urged the people to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and get vaccinated at the earliest to contain spread of the Indian variant of Covid-19. He said the Indian variant spreads very fast. He said the government is arranging vaccines to protect the people from the coronavirus.
Umar said the government has been successful in combatting the previous waves of coronavirus and “now we will be able to protect our people from the current wave and without affecting their employment.”
He further stated that the success that Pakistan achieved could not be achieved by major countries. “Jabs worth billions of rupees were imported to the country and vaccination centres were set up at various places,” he said. Citing the examples of neighbouring Iran and Indonesia, Umar observed that the situation in the region with regard to Covid was worsening. “We haven’t seen such a situation in Pakistan,” he maintained.
“The platform of NCOC does not have anything to do with politics; we enforce restrictions in a targeted way to ensure that people aren’t troubled by them,” Umar said.
The NCOC chief warned that a pandemic does not recognise territorial boundaries. “People should act on doctors’ recommendations, wear face-masks and adhere to social distancing,” he maintained.
“The first 10 million vaccinations took 113 days, while five million people were vaccinated during the past six days. More than 30 million people have been administered the jabs so far,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Faisal Sultan said the fourth wave of the coronavirus has put pressure on the health system of Karachi, Abbottabad and Islamabad. “Only by vaccination can we escape the fourth wave,” Dr Faisal added.
He said now the positivity ratio has surged to 8.8 percent in the country. He said the number of cases is also increasing on daily basis due to the fourth wave of coronavirus. He added that 2,000 to 2,500 cases were reported in the country last week, but more than 5,000 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours.
He urged the general public to follow the precautionary measures against the corona pandemic. He said vaccination is of vital importance as it reduces the risk of coronavirus.