PESHAWAR: In an effort to keep the coronavirus in control during Eid days, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) Thursday announced six holidays, from May 10 to 15 for the occasion.
The next and previous days around the Eid holidays are Sundays, which means the overall holidays are eight. In order to minimise the mobility of people during Eid days, the NCOC has also banned inter-city transport from May 08 to 16 which also includes the Eid holidays. It means that those who want to spend Eid with their families living in other cities will have to travel before and after these days otherwise they would not able to find any public transport.
To further curb people’s movement, which is believed to be a major contributor to rise in coronavirus cases, the NCOC has also banned Chand Raat bazaars, including henna, jewellery and clothing stalls. The NCOC said in a statement that all markets, businesses and shops will remain closed except for essential services including grocery stores, pharmacies, bakeries, vegetable, fruit, chicken and meat shops and petrol pumps.
Restrictions during Eid days also include closure of all tourist places, shopping centres, parks, beaches, hotels, restaurants, and other public places from May 8 to 16.
Travel nodes leading to the tourist destinations, particularly in Murree, Swat, and northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, which attract hundreds of thousands of tourists from across the country during Eid holidays, will also remain closed during the said period.
The ban on shopping and travelling has been imposed to ensure that the people observe Eid in a simple way and avoid unnecessary mixing up with other people.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has also announced that it will not issue new currency notes on Edi this year due to the prevailing situation of coronavirus pandemic.
The new announcements have been made as coronavirus positivity ratio is hovering around 10 percent during the last few days.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that so far no decision been taken about complete lockdown but if ratio of the coronavirus positive cases reaches 15 percent, then there would be no option but to impose lockdown.