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Pakistan: Get vaccinated or face curbs as September 30 deadline nears

Agencies
Filed on September 14, 2021
Reuters

Unvaccinated people will also not be eligible to enter shopping malls, use public transport or to travel by air.

Federal Minister for Development, Planning and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has warned that people who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to work from offices after this month.

In a televised message on Tuesday, Asad Umar said unvaccinated people will also not be eligible to enter shopping malls, use public transport or to travel by air after the September 30 deadline.

“If they will not get vaccinated till September 30, they will be restricted from entering schools, will not be allowed to travel by air, will not be allowed entry to shopping malls, cannot get bookings at hotels and guest houses and will be barred from attending indoor and outdoor gatherings,” Umar warned, Dawn reported.

Umar also asked people to keep social distancing in comments that came hours after Pakistan reported a steady decline in cases of coronavirus.

Umar said about 52 per cent of the adult population in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, had been vaccinated and other cities should also try to vaccinate at least 40 per cent of their eligible population as soon as possible to avoid lockdowns and Covid-19 related restrictions. “If we meet the target, we would be able to further relax restrictions by the end of September,” Umar said. “[And] this is the only way out.”

Giving Islamabad’s example, he said the city had a population of over two million and 62 per cent of it had been fully vaccinated.

“It this can be achieved in Islamabad, it can in other cities as well,” he said, appealing to citizens to get inoculated and requesting provincial governments and relevant federal government departments to expedite the process of vaccination.

He added that authorities intended to gradually lift restrictions so that life could return back to normal.

For that, he said, the government would impose more restrictions in times to come on individuals who would not get vaccinated.

Additional Covid curbs lifted

Authorities lifted additional restrictions in 18 of 24 districts where non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were enforced earlier this month in the wake of high coronavirus prevalence, Umar announced on Tuesday, Dawn reported.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said that the decision had been taken after a decline was observed in Covid-19 cases in the districts.

Residents in these districts would now have to comply with Covid-19 restrictions as in the rest of the country and no additional curbs, he said.

The NCOC had enforced additional curbs in districts of Punjab, Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Islamabad on September 4. The restrictions included a ban on indoor gatherings, closure of indoor gyms, ban on intercity transport and closure of educational institutions.

Umar said on Tuesday that the additional restrictions were being lifted in 18 districts earlier than planned after a decline was observed in virus cases there.

Changes in Covid curbs

>> Intercity transport allowed with 50pc occupancy

>> Schools to reopen with 50pc attendance

>> Outdoor dining allowed until midnight

>> Gyms and amusement parks to open for fully vaccinated citizens

>> Restriction lifted on outdoor gatherings of up to 400 guests.





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