The National Command and Operation Centre has recommended closing down cinemas, theaters and shrines across the country as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

In a meeting led by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Wednesday, the NCOC requested the government to ban processions and public gatherings.

The NCOC suggested suggested early and extended winter vacations in schools and colleges to reduce the disease spread and ensure the safety of students. This recommendation will be taken up at a meeting with Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on November 16.

For restaurants, only take-away and outdoor dining to be allowed till 10 pm.

It pointed out that the virus has increased three-fold since the centre announced SOPs after the second wave of coronavirus hit earlier in November.

Earlier this month, the NCOC placed a ban on gatherings at wedding halls from November 20 in big cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Multan and Rawalpindi.

People will, however, be allowed to hold weddings and other ceremonies in open spaces. A maximum of 1,000 people will be allowed to attend.

The rules will also be applied in Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Peshawar, Quetta and Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Abbottabad as well.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s death toll from the novel coronavirus reached 7,000. Daily deaths started rising again in mid-October after which Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan announced that the country was experiencing the second wave of the virus.

In the last 24 hours, 1,708 new cases were reported countrywide while 21 people lost their lives to the virus.