PESHAWAR: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has extended schools closure and ban on inter-city transport in 24 districts of the country, including eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by another week.

The districts in KP which came under extended restrictions include Peshawar, Haripur, Malakand, Mansehra, Swabi, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat and Abbottabad.

The NCOC, the nerve centre of the government’s unified strategy to contain the spread of the pandemic, had had earlier imposed some additional restrictions in 24 districts from September 4-11, under which schools and inter-city transport was closed, and indoor gatherings were also prohibited.

Other districts with extended restrictions include Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Sargodha, Khushab, Mianwali, Rahimyar Khan, Khanewal, Faisalabad, Bhakkar, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Multan, Bahawalpur, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Sheikhupura.

These restrictions were extended in the districts with high ratio of coronavirus positivity. All schools in those districts would remain closed till September 15; and the ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain in place along with the ban on inter-city transport.

The forum said it was monitoring the coronavirus situation on a daily basis. It added that a review meeting on the new sanctions would be held on September 15 in which decision would be taken on further actions.

According to latest updates of the NCOC, as many as 83 patients died of coronavirus during the past 24 hours.

As many as 3,689 positive cases were reported in the country during the last 24 hours. A total of 61,128 tests were conducted on Thursday and positivity ratio remained 6.03 percent. There are 5,362 patients on critical care.

Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and KP. As many as 442,401 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 410,463 in Punjab, 167,154 in KP, 102,094 in Islamabad, 33,131 in Azad Kashmir, 32,517 in Balochistan and 10,127 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Meanwhile, the NCOC Chairman Asad Umar said more than 20 million people have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus in the country.

In his tweets on Friday, the minister said that 50 million people have received at least one dose of anti-corona vaccine. “We had set a daunting target of vaccinating 70 million people by the end of this year,” he said, and expressed confidence to surpass the target.

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