Home Latest News NCOC Issues SOPs for Muharram Gatherings During Fourth Wave of Coronavirus

NCOC Issues SOPs for Muharram Gatherings During Fourth Wave of Coronavirus

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of a NCOC meeting. Courtesy PID

All participants of gatherings and processions required to wear face masks, maintain social distancing and submit to thermal checks

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Tuesday issues standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Muharram-ul-Haram activities to prevent the further spread of coronavirus during Pakistan’s ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic.

According to the guidelines issued by the forum overseeing the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, gatherings at private residences have been heavily discouraged, with an emphasis on organizing all activities in open and well-ventilated spaces.

It said all the guidelines should be clearly and prominently displayed at all Muharram gatherings to ensure the public was aware of measures needed to contain coronavirus. It noted that all the SOPs had been developed in consultation with ulema to ensure all stakeholders were onboard.

The NCOC stressed that all gatherings and processions should be held under COVID-19 SOPs, including the mandatory use of face-masks among all participants. The forum has also stressed upon maintaining social distancing in all processions, adding that organizers should ensure thermal checks at entry points to prevent potentially infected people from participating.

In addition to the above guidelines, the NCOC has also directed organizers to provide hand sanitizers and masks to participants if they do not have access to them.

Pakistan is currently in the midst of a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with a majority of cases reportedly of the highly-infectious Delta variant that was originally identified in India. Authorities have urged the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and continue adhering to SOPs, to help the country overcome the latest surge and protect lives and livelihoods.

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