by Gul Nayab Kaiser
Islamabad, April 27: The government has further tightened restriction on travel and tourism and called for compliance with SOPs during religious gatherings and Eid Holidays.
A complete ban has been imposed on tourism, inter-provincial and intra-city transport from May 8 to 16 including Eid holidays, a notification issued by the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
The entry of tourists to Gilgit-Baltistan and other resorts have been banned. However, natives of GB will be allowed to travel to their areas to celebrate Eid with their families, the notification read.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) that took stock of the surge in Coronavirus cases across Pakistan.
All tourist resorts, public parks, hotels, restaurants in and around tourist spots as well as restaurants, shopping malls and transport service will remain closed, read the statement.
Roads leading to tourist resorts with the main focus on Murree, Galiyat, Swat-Kalam, Sea View, beaches and the northern areas, will remain closed during Eid holidays, the notification read.
It was also announced that the SOPs/guidelines for Etekaf, Shab-e-Qadr and Jummatul Wida (last Friday of Ramazan), and Eid prayers will strictly be ensured.
The meeting also directed the relevant departments to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to the people during the Eid holidays.
On Monday, army troops were deployed across the country to help civil administration in implementing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the coronavirus.
Enhanced deployment had been done in 16 cities where the positive rate of the virus was “very high”, says a report in Dawn.
These cities include Islamabad; Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda and Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Gujranwala in Punjab; Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh; Quetta in Balochistan and Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
During the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported 4,487 new coronavirus cases and 142 deaths. The country’s tally of infections stands at 804,939 while the death toll is 17,329.