Pakistan Army to be called in again for implementation of coronavirus SOPs

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army will be called in once again for implementing the government’s mandated coronavirus standard operations procedures (SOPs), the National Command and Operations Centres (NCOC) decided on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Army was last mobilised in April to enforce coronavirus safety protocols in several parts of the country after Prime Minister Imran Khan had sought its help in curbing the spread of the virus.

The NCOC has also decided to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory for domestic travel from August 1, a statement from the forum said. Meanwhile, international flight operations have been increased to 50%.

“The decision to increase international flight operations has been made to repatriate Pakistanis stranded abroad,” the statement said, adding that the decision would come into effect from July 15.

The move to increase flight operations will allow the government to bring back 2,500-3,000 Pakistanis every day, and all the airports and relevant authorities have been directed to make necessary arrangements to accommodate the passengers, the forum said.

The forum has decided to impose smart lockdowns with the help of heat maps. The meeting was informed that the authorities in Islamabad, Multan Peshawar, and Gujranwala had taken action against people violating COVID-19 SOPs.

The authorities in these cities also sealed hotels where they had spotted violations of coronavirus SOPs, the forum was informed.

The forum also took notice of hotel staff and waiters performing their duties without getting vaccinated and not wearing masks, the statement from the forum said.

Moreover, Pakistan has crossed the 20 million inoculations mark, the NCOC was informed, with more than 525,000 getting the jabs in the last 24 hours.

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