The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has issued new restrictions for major cities with high Covid-19 positivity and higher disease spread potential, as part of stage two of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The new guidelines will apply to Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Peshawar, Quetta, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Abbottabad from toady (Saturday). “A Rs 100 fine will be imposed on those not wearing a face mask and they will be provided three masks on the spot; indoor weddings will be banned starting Nov 20; outdoor weddings will be allowed with a maximum of 1,000 people permitted to attend; 50 percent staff of all public and private offices will be asked to work from home; ‘relatively broader’ smart lockdowns will be imposed in hotspot areas,” the NCOC said in a notification. The new guidelines come as the total active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan on Friday were recorded at 16,242, as 1,376 more people tested positive for the deadly virus during the last 24 hours. Thirty corona patients, 28 of whom were under treatment in hospital and two out of hospital, died on Thursday, according to the latest update issued by the NCOC. No COVID affected person was on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan, while 130 ventilators elsewhere in Pakistan, out of 1,870 allocated for Covid-19 patients, were occupied. Some 35,745 tests were conducted across the country on Thursday, including 11,530 in Sindh, 14,109 in Punjab, 3,219 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 5,740 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 161 in Balochistan, 410 in GB, and 576 in AJK. Around 317,086 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients. Since the pandemic outbreak, a total of 340,251 cases were detected so far, including AJK 4,572, Balochistan 16,033, GB 4,332, ICT 20,967, KP 40,148, Punjab 105,856 and Sindh 148,343. About 6,923 deaths were recorded in country since the eruption of the contagion, including 2,664 Sindh among 15 of them died in hospital and two out of hospital on Thursday, 2,390 in Punjab five of them died in hospital on Thursday, 1,287 in KP three of them died in hospital on Thursday, 231 in ICT among two of them died in hospital on Thursday, 152 in Balochistan, 92 in GB and 107 in AJK among three of them died in hospital on Thursday. A total of 4,609,513 corona tests have been conducted so far, while 735 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities. Some 995 corona patients were admitted in hospitals across the country. Also, authorities in Islamabad have sealed the International Islamic University (IIUI) after 12 coronavirus cases were detected on campus, days after the government announced that the second wave of the contagion has begun in the country. According to media reports, this is the second time that the varsity has been sealed after it had been shut last month for disinfection following detection of coronavirus cases. “It is hereby advised to immediately close down the university premises for a period till further intimation by the office of the undersigned and conduct thorough disinfection activities,” a notification from the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination read. The ministry, in the notification, advised that the patients residing in the hostel be isolated till recovery and their contacts also quarantined in a separate isolation area. It stressed that Covid-19 testing of all the exposed staff and students must be carried out, while adherence to coronavirus safety protocols must be strictly ensured. “All the close contacts of the cases must be quarantined for a period of 14 days,” the ministry underscored. Meanwhile, the Islamabad administration said that a model school for women in the capital’s G11/1 was also sealed after two coronavirus cases were detected there. Similarly, responding to a tweet, the District Health Officer, Islamabad, said that the mechanical and computer science departments of the National University of Technology have also been sealed. Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to impose a smart lockdown in Peshawar that will go into effect tomorrow, as coronavirus cases across the country surge. A notification from the deputy commissioner Peshawar’s office ordered the “controlled entry and exit” of the various localities in Peshawar. The notification made it clear that the lockdown will be effective from 4pm on November 7 till further orders by the competent authority. Over in Karachi, at least 216 students and teachers tested positive for Covid-19 during the past 24 hours in District East. According to the details, a Sindh health department team conducted random Covid-19 testing of students and teachers in the district.