Roundup: Strict measures, vaccination help Pakistan bring down COVID-19 cases, restore daily life

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-03 23:45:24|Editor: huaxia
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by Jamil Bhatti

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- An increasing vaccination rate and strict health measures, including a ban on businesses and lockdowns in selected areas, have helped Pakistan bring down the daily number of COVID-19 cases by more than 50 percent in September.

According to the statistics released by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Friday, the country's daily cases dropped to 1,411 on Sept. 30 from 4,103 on Sept. 1

During the first 11 days of September, daily cases hovered well above 3,000, prompting the government to impose strict measures, according to the NCOC, the country's department leading the anti-pandemic campaign.

The stern measures included school closure, a ban on gatherings and dining at restaurants, closure of cinemas and sports centers, besides restrictions on business activities.

Head of the NCOC Asad Umar told media earlier this week that the strict measures and the vaccination campaign have brought positive results.

On Wednesday, Umar said in a statement that the only way out of the pandemic is to get a high percentage of citizens vaccinated.

"There will be higher restrictions on cities with low level of vaccination and on citizens who are not vaccinated," said Umar, adding that the NCOC has decided to relax restrictions in eight cities with the highest level of vaccination.

Starting from Friday, the NCOC imposed a ban on unvaccinated people on boarding domestic and international flights and entering educational institutions, shopping malls, wedding halls, hotels and guesthouses.

Following the decision, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced that only vaccinated passengers will be able to travel on domestic and international flights of the PIA after providing the vaccination certificate.

Considering the falling number of COVID-19 cases, the Civil Aviation Authority of the country on Thursday allowed the serving of in-flight meals and beverages on domestic flights.

All the airlines were barred from serving food on domestic flights in August after a surge in cases.

The government has also allowed increasing spectators by up to 50 percent of the stadium capacity for the domestic cricket matches to be played from Friday to Sunday. The Pakistan Cricket Board said that only fully vaccinated people would be allowed to buy the tickets and enter the stadium.

The NCOC has also announced the start of vaccination of all 12-year and older youngsters, adding that a dedicated drive would start at schools to make it easier for children to be vaccinated. Enditem

KEY WORDS: Pakistan,COVID,19