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    Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 meeting decided to close all markets by 6:00 PM across the province

    Chitral Times Report

     

    PESHAWAR: A meeting of the Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 held here on Friday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair, reviewed in detail the latest situation of corona pandemic with special focus on the administrative measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. The forum expressed its serious concerns on the increasing number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the province and stressed the need for strictly implementing the SOPs and other precautionary measures. It was decided in the meeting to close all the markets by 6:00 PM across the province with exceptions of pharmacies, general stores, milk shops, Tandoor and Patrol Pumps. Similarly, the meeting also decided to impose complete ban on outdoor dining in restaurants only allowing takeaway. There would be two safe days in a week i.e Saturday and Sunday and all the markets will remain closed except essential service providers. Keeping in view the board examinations during next month, the meeting decided to reopen schools from Monday under strict SOPs for class 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th.

    Provincial Ministers Shahram Tarakai, Akbar Ayub, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. General Nauman Mahmood, Chief Secretary Dr. Kazim Niaz, IGP Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi and other high ups attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed the latest situation of corona pandemic, progress on corona vaccination, capacity enhancement of health facilities and other matters related to COVID-19. It was decided in the meeting to operate public offices with less than 50% of staff and to impose complete ban on the visitors to public offices. The meeting further decided to strictly implement the SOPs during Nimaz-e-Taraweh and Nimaz-e-Janaza, and urged upon ulemas to play their effective role in this regard. It was also decided that facemasks would be distributed at all the public places including main markets, utility stores and Ehsas Cash Points and use of facemask would strictly be ensured. The forum also discussed imposition of ban on the visits of tourists to the tourists spots of the province till Eid Ul Fitar and it was decided to take up the matter with the federal government for unanimous decisions.

    While briefing the forum about the latest corona situation, it was informed that the number of daily new cases had increased exponentially in last month adding that the positivity ratio of cases continued to rise in the province besides the number of deaths on daily basis was also on rise. At present, average ratio of positive cases was at 14 percent in the province. The forum stressed the need of strict implementation of COVID Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in all the districts of the province. Regarding Corona Vaccination and capacity of health care facilities in the province, the forum was informed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had utilized 72 percent of its allocated vaccines so far adding that as per NCOC report the province had highest vaccine utilization rate. So far, 142,000 individuals had received first dose of vaccine while 39,137 persons had been fully vaccinated.

    The forum was apprised that health department had introduced district wise targets for vaccine administration to enhance vaccine uptake and mechanism had been devised to monitor corona vaccination centres to evaluate service quality. Moreover, five mass vaccination centers had been established to improve access to COVID vaccine. The meeting was briefed that over the last few weeks 284 new HDU beds, 19 ICU beds and 273 low flow beds had been added to existing capacity of major hospitals of the province.

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