ISLAMABAD    -  The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has warned that strict measures will be taken once again if there is no improvement in compliance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for controlling the spread of coronavirus.

During a special session which was held here on Wednesday to monitor the surge in the Covid-19 cases in the country, the NCOC was informed that there is a clear resurgence of the virus while deaths were also on the rise. 

All the chief secretaries were asked to strictly implement the SOPs, said a statement issued after the meeting.

The forum also identified markets, marriage halls, restaurants and public gatherings as high risk areas. “Strict punitive actions on SOPs violations will be initiated,” said the statement, adding that wearing of face masks and social distancing must be ensured.

Meanwhile, Pakistan yesterday recorded highest Covid-19 death count of 19 fatalities in over two months. The country on Wednesday reported 19 deaths and 660 new Covid-19 cases during the last 24 hours as the number of positive cases surged to 324,744. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 6,692.

According to the latest figures by the NCOC, 660 persons were tested positive for Covid-19 in the 24 hours. Sindh with 142,348 infections remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad. Till now, 142,348 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 101,936 in Punjab, 38,779 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 18,309 in Islamabad, 15,717 in Balochistan, 3,564 in Azad Kashmir and 4,091 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan has so far conducted 4,148,739 Coronavirus tests and 26,670 in last 24 hours. 308,674 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country so far whereas 559 patients are in critical condition.