Domestic air travel without a vaccination certificate will be banned from August 1.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Friday while declaring India’s delta Covid variant extremely dangerous stressed the public that results could be bad if Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are not strictly followed.

A statement issued by the NCOC called for speeding up the implementation of SOPs and said that cases of Indian delta Covid variant have started being reported in Pakistan which could result in the spread of fourth wave of coronavirus in the country after which the national institution has formulated a comprehensive strategy.

Citing the example of India, the statement said that millions of deaths were caused by the Delta variant of coronavirus, adding that the people suffered due to lack of oxygen in Indian hospitals and the NCOC has taken special measures against this.

The NCOC also called for accelerating pace of inoculation drive and said implementation of existing SOPs would be ensured from July 9 to 18.

The NCOC has made it mandatory for students over the age of 18 to be vaccinated by August 31, while domestic air travel without a vaccination certificate will be banned from August 1.

Earlier today, in a post on social-networking website Twitter, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar said that there are clear early signs of COVID-19’s fourth wave starting.

“2 weeks back I had tweeted that our artificial intelligence models are showing possible emergence of 4th wave. Now there are clear early signs of 4th wave starting,” the minister wrote. 

“Poor SOPs compliance, coupled with spread of variants of concern, Indian variant in particular, are the main cause,” he added.

Asad Umar saidy, “Field reports are showing complete disregard of the condition of vaccination for those attending indoor weddings and going to indoor restaurants and gyms.”

“If the owners of these facilities do not show responsibility and ensure compliance, there will be no choice but to shut them down,” he warned.  

The reaction came after Pakistan reported 25 deaths in the last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 969,476. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 22,520.

According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 1,737 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths and cases followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Till now 10,805 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab 5,566 in Sindh, 4,348 in KP, 782 in Islamabad, 591 in Azad Kashmir, 317 in Balochistan, and 111 in GB.

Furthermore 347,553 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Punjab, 344,223 in Sindh, 139,008 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 83,400 in Islamabad, 27,781 in Balochistan, 20,811 in Azad Kashmir and 6,700 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pakistan has so far conducted 14,960,221 coronavirus tests and 47,528 in the last 24 hours. 911,383 patients have recovered in the country whereas 1,971 patients are in critical condition.