Pakistan announces new COVID-19 curbs for Eid holiday
Islamabad: Pakistan has announced new curbs to contain the spread of coronavirus during the six-day Eid holiday, requesting people to celebrate Eid Al Fitr at home this year.
National Command Operation Center (NCOC), leading the government’s pandemic response, announced ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ strategy to be enforced from May 8 to May 16 to restrict the movement of people and social gatherings during the annual festival of Eid at the end of Ramadan.
COVID-19 curbs on Eid
These measures will stay in place from May 8 to May 16:
· Eid holidays to be observed from May 10 till May 15.
· There will be a complete ban on Eid and Chaand Raat bazaars.
· All markets, businesses, and shops will remain closed except for essential services (pharmacies, grocery stores, petrol pumps, vaccination centres, food takeaway and home delivery)
· There will be a complete ban on tourism and all routes leading to tourist destinations will be closed.
· All tourist resorts, public parks, hotels, restaurants and shopping malls, would remain closed during this time.
· Ban on inter-provincial, inter-city and intra-city public transport. Private vehicles to operate with 50 per cent capacity.
· Comprehensive guidelines to be issued for Itikaf, Shab-e-Qadar, Juma-tul-Wida, and Eid prayers.
· Focus on ‘stay home, stay safe on Eid’ public service messages on media.
‘Keep Eid simple’
Pakistani health officials are imploring the public to adhere to health guidelines, warning that the government would have no other option but to impose complete lockdown if the situation does not improve.
Health chief Dr Faisal Sultan warned that strict measures would be considered if people did not heed advice on social distancing, wearing masks, and other precautionary measures. “Please keep your Ramadan and Eid simple so we can fight this disease and get through this difficult situation,” Sultan said.
Pakistan has reported 5,480 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours and at least 150 deaths. The country recorded 201 deaths from COVID-19 on April 28 – the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.