ISLAMABAD: In a meeting held by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday, relevant authorities expressed concern over the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country and directed provinces to ensure the strict implementation of the coronavirus standard operating procedures on the occasion of Eid ul Adha. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, while all provincial chief secretaries attended the meeting through video links. During the meeting, a discussion related to the violations of the SOPs in different sectors also took place. After being briefed about the situation, the minister instructed the provinces to ensure the strict implementation of the SOPs. He also directed the provinces to hasten up their vaccination drives to ensure maximum utilization till Eid. The NCOC also issued special instructions for the occasion of Eidul Azha to ensure control on the number of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, Umar told the attendees that the western border of the country has been closed since June 17 due to the worrying coronavirus situation arising in Afghanistan. He added that the government is making arrangements to bring back Pakistanis who have been stranded in Afghanistan. The NCOC also said that individuals who have been vaccinated would be required to quarantine for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19.