The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has on Wednesday decided to immediately close cinemas, theaters and shrines in the wake of the second wave of coronavirus while recommending to ban public gathering of more than 500 persons.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Asad Umar chaired the NCOC meeting and remarked that immediate measures are required to save lives. COVID-19 cases have increased by almost three times, the minister said.

Briefing over the standard operating procedures (SOPs) was given in the session and ratio of increasing cases in sixteen big cities of the country was discussed. Situation in educational institutions was also analyzed.

Earlier today, Asad Umar took to Twitter and said the NCOC has once again recommended to ban all large public gatherings.

“Rapid increase in positivity requires urgent steps to save lives & livelihoods. Since mid October, when NCC first considered the NCOC recommendation to ban large public gatherings daily cases have nearly tripled.

“The national political leadership across the political spectrum needs to demonstrate leadership to send a message to the entire nation for taking preventive steps and follow sop’s.

“Consensus needed in NCC for taking this decision, which has been delayed due to lack of consensus.”

On the other hand, Pakistan has reported 21 deaths in last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 348,184. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 7,021.

According to the latest figures by the NCOC, 1,708 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours.