PESHAWAR: Keeping in view the spike in coronavirus cases during fourth wave of the pandemic, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday decided to keep the markets closed for two days a week across the province.
Elective services in the hospitals of most affected areas would also be suspended on need basis, and the Health Department has been directed to take necessary steps wherever required.
Decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in Peshawar. The Task Force expressed serious concern over increasing positivity ratio of corona cases and non-compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the province.
In Hazara Division, Pakistan Army would be engaged to assist the local administration to contain this spread of the virus.
The forum directed the KP Police to take a lead role for the compliance of the SOPs and NPIs, and decided to request the Pakistan Army for assistance in this regard. The meeting decided to strictly monitor the prevailing situation on daily basis and to impose further restrictions if needed.
The Task Force discussed the option of blocking mobile SIMs of citizens not getting vaccinated against coronavirus. Concerned quarters were directed to set a deadline to this effect and to take necessary steps for awareness of general public regarding the deadline.
Concern was expressed on low ratio of corona vaccination in Peshawar, and the forum directed the Health Department and district administration to take concrete steps to achieve the desired target of vaccination.
The meeting was informed that overall vaccination ratio in KP was satisfactory. Country wide, one million people were being vaccinated on daily basis out of which 0.2 million vaccinations were being carried out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The forum directed the district administrations and tehsil municipal administrations to further improve the free distribution of facemasks in public. It emphasised the need for awareness campaign in the general public to remove misconceptions about corona vaccination.
The chief minister directed the administration to ensure strict implementation of preventive measures already notified to contain the pandemic. He said the situation would be monitored regularly, and if required, the government would go for more restrictions during next couple of weeks.