Federal Minister for Planning and Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has announced that Pakistan is lifting all Covid-19 related restrictions in addition to shutting down the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), but urged citizens to continue to get vaccinated.
“The pandemic has not ended yet but undergoing the ending phase,” the planning minister said. “We have decided that all restrictions we have imposed related to the coronavirus on weddings, indoor dining and markets, we are ending all of them.”
The minister cited a need for the country to return to ‘normal, ordinary life’ as the coronavirus appears it will stick around for some time yet.
To date, a reported 87 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 70 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated.
According to the NCOC, the national coronavirus positivity rate has dropped to 1.42 per cent, with fewer than 500 new cases reported in the past 24 hours on Wednesday. The government also announced that the NCOC will likely be shut down by the end of the month, with the National Institute of Health assuming the health agency’s responsibilities.
Meanwhile, China is experiencing its highest number of coronavirus cases since the Covid-19 outbreak began in Wuhan. Various cities across China have returned to lockdown and Shanghai has closed schools, once again.