Covid-19 variants spreading their horrors

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) finally issued revised coronavirus guidelines and SOPs. This is for the education, restaurant, entertainment, and other sectors on Wednesday. After a brief delay, Pakistan continues to fight a fifth wave of the pandemic and struggles to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.

Lessons for children under the age of 12 will be held on “staggered” days in towns and districts where the vaccination rate is greater than 10%. While classes for fully vaccinated pupils above the age of 12 will be held every day.

Classes will proceed as usual in cities and districts with a positive ratio of up to 10%. However with strict COVID-19 processes in place, as per NCOC rules.

Covid-19 vaccination requirement for teenagers

According to the NCOC recommendations, starting February 1, students over the age of 12 will be required to take at least one dose. With no exceptions except for medical reasons.

The NCOC stated, “Aggressive sentinel testing in educational institutions would be conducted for targeted closures in high illness incidence education institutes.”

According to the forum, federating units would designate a number of cases or an infection rate as the criteria for closing educational facilities in collaboration with health authorities.

According to a statement from the forum, the decisions were made during an NCOC session held today in Islamabad with Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair.

The forum conducted a “deep evaluation” of the country’s current pandemic trend and, following a “deliberate and comprehensive process,” decided on the following non-pharmaceutical interventions:

For cities/ districts with positivity above 10%:

  • Indoor gatherings of any kind, including weddings, will be prohibited from January 24.
  • Outdoor gatherings, including weddings, will be permitted with a maximum of 300 fully vaccinated visitors beginning January 24.
  • Dining Indoor dining will be prohibited entirely. Outdoor dining and takeaway service will, however, be permitted for fully immunized citizens.
  • Indoor gyms with a 50 percent capacity for fully vaccinated people will be permitted.
  • Cinemas will be permitted to open at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only.
  • Shrines are only permitted to open at 50% capacity for fully immunized individuals.
  • Amusement parks are permitted to open at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated visitors only.

Cities with less than a 10% positivity rate

  • Indoor meetings with a maximum of 300 visitors (completely vaccinated) are permitted. Whereas outdoor events with a maximum of 500 guests are permitted.
  • Outdoor and Indoor dining are only permitted for fully vaccinated individuals. Although takeouts is permitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Gyms(Indoor) are only available to fully immunized individuals.
  • Shrines are also only open to fully vaccinated people.
  • Parks are only open to fully immunized people.
  • Vaccinated people can participate in any sport they want.
  • Children will continue to attend schools with stringent SOPs. In addition to that, those above the age of 12 will be required to be completely vaccinated.

Last but not least, the NCOC has also agreed to work closely with the provinces, particularly Sindh. Furthermore, this is to ensure that all required measures are taken to combat the fifth wave. Moreover, the forum has also instructed all parties to step up their efforts to fulfill the goals set out in the current vaccination campaign.