The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Saturday decided to call a session on tomorrow to decide holding of Pakistan Day parade amid rising coronavirus cases across country in general and in federal capital in particular. The forum will discuss either to cancel the main parade of Pakistan Day or hold a limited event on the occasion. The morning session would also take stock of the education sector and prevailing disease situation across the country. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Saturday notified a new list of countries distributed into three categories to deal with their passengers accordingly in view of coronavirus pandemic. The CAA has updated its category C for international travel and added more countries to the list. South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Rawanda, Peru, Mozambique, Columbia, Comoros, Tanzania and Brazil are the new countries included in category C. “There will be a complete travel ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from Category C countries including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided to Pakistani passport holders,” reads the notification. United Kingdom has been delisted from category C countries and added to the category B. According to CAA, the new travel restrictions have been imposed in continuation to the steps being taken to curb the spread of coronavirus. The international passengers from category A countries will not be required to undergo a Covid-19 test. However, the passengers arriving in Pakistan from category B countries will need to undergo a PCR test not more than 72 hours before their departure. The notification further stated that the categorised country list concerning inbound travel to Pakistan will be effective from March 23 to April 5. Vaccination centres for Pakistan’s ongoing Covid-19 inoculation campaign will remain closed on Sundays and public holidays such as March 23, according to a notification from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). “People are advised not to visit centres on Sundays and other public holidays,” said the notification, adding the decision was taken to give relief to frontline healthcare workers and vaccine administrators who have been “working tirelessly to serve the nation in this time of crisis”. “NCOC appreciates the efforts of all federating units for the management of [the] massive vaccination drive across the country and salutes frontline healthworkers, especially those involved in [the] ongoing vaccination drive.” Tourists looking to visit Gilgit-Baltistan will now be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test, according to a notification by the region’s home department. The notification states that “tourists having valid COVID-19 negative certificates shall be allowed to enter into Gilgit-Baltistan”. The new rule has been put into place in compliance with the health advisory issued by the GB health department under the GB Epidemic Diseases (Prevention & Control) Ordinance, 2020. All concerned departments have been directed to “ensure strict compliance” to the tourism safety precautions already outlined by the department. The decision comes into force immediately and will remain in effect till further notice, the notification said. Minister for Interior Shaikh Rasheed has said that it is possible the government may impose strict restrictions and smart lockdowns in the coming days; however, decision makers will also need to assess the impact of such a decision on the poor and working classes. Sources in the interior ministry, however, said there is no plan for an immediate lockdown in Islamabad and that any decision in this regard can only be taken on the recommendation of the NCOC. As reports began to circulate of a nationwide lockdown, Rasheed issued a video statement to set the record straight “I did not say at all that a lockdown will begin on Monday. False reports attributed to me have been circulating,” he began by saying. “I did not speak of a complete, nationwide lockdown at all. So I wish to say to everyone, this is a false report being circulated,” Rasheed said. He added that the decision, in any case, will be taken by the NCOC and does not fall under the purview of the interior ministry.