The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Saturday directed the provinces to devise guidelines for managing tourism in order to avert a second wave of coronavirus infections, said an official press release.
The National Command and Operations Centre meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, discussed opening up of the tourism sector with standard operating procedures and safety guidelines for the containment of the disease.
The forum highlighted that violations of SOPs have been observed at almost all tourist destinations, emphasising if tourism is not managed adequately, it might lead to another virus outbreak.
The administrations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were requested to make all efforts to enforce SOPs on incoming tourists.
The SOPs include the usage of facemask and density control, meaning a limited number of tourists can be allowed at a time. The meeting decided that other provinces must take measures to control the flow of tourists to various destinations.
It added that the detailed SOPs on tourism have already been issued, however, the Ministry of Health will formulate and issue special guidelines and action plan for tourist management. The National Command and Operation Centre meeting, chaired by Development Minister Asad Umar also directed the KP, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir administrations in particular to make “all out efforts to enforce standard operating procedures on visiting tourists including the use of facemasks and density control”.
The meeting also decided that testing and contact tracing of tourists would be increased for the next three weeks through “establishing of special sentinel sites at tourist spots and airports”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan reported on Saturday 14 deaths in last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 283,487. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 6,068. Till now 123,246 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 94,223 in Punjab, 34,539 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 15,214 in Islamabad, 11,835 in Balochistan, 2,129 in Azad Kashmir and 2,301 in Gilgit-Baltistan.