The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Friday announced lockdown in 15 districts of Punjab, eight in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) for the next week in order to control the spread of coronavirus. The decision was taken during a meeting held here at the Prime Minister House. The NCOC team led by Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Asad Umar briefed the Prime Minister Imran Khan about the rising trend in Covid-19 cases and stress on intensive care units in hospitals of various districts. The participants of the meeting also reviewed the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the specific districts. It was decided that additional NPIs would be implemented in specific districts from September 4 to 12 in order to decrease the spread of disease. As per details of NPIs, all educational institutions would remain close during the next week. The inter-city transportation among districts with high spread of coronavirus cases was also banned. Similarly, all kind of indoor and outdoor functions have been also banned. The marriage halls have been allowed to hold only outdoor events with condition of only 300 attendants. Furthermore, indoor gyms have also been banned. The restrictions will be imposed in Islamabad, Sargodha, Khushab, Mianwali, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Faisalabad, Bhakkar, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Multan, Bahawalpur, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Sheikhupura. The districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are Haripur, Malakand, Mansehra, Sawabi, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Abbotabad and Peshawar. The restrictions were announced after taking a detailed stock of the current disease situation in different districts, daily hospital admissions, pressure on critical care and availability of oxygen, the NCOC said, adding that they will be reviewed on Sept 9. The additional measures come as Pakistan’s death toll crossed 26,000 on Friday and more than 5,600 coronavirus patients remained admitted to critical care. Owing to a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, the government of Punjab has also decided to close all schools from September 6 to September 11. Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas said that schools will remain closed for six days to curb the rapid spread of the virus. The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) suspended on-campus academic activities from September 4 to 11 in all public sector educational institutions working in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) owing to spike in Covid-19 positive cases. According to a notification issued by the FDE, the decision has been taken in pursuance of directions received from Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training communicated under the announcement by National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) with reference Covid-19 situation in ICT. It further stated that this decision is applicable except ongoing Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) examination which shall continue as per its schedule. Meanwhile, in another notification issued by Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA), all Private Educational institutions (PEIs) of Islamabad shall also be remain closed. Examination (already announced) by Federal Board/examining body shall continue subject to strict observance of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) whereas in-house/internal exams are banned. Any change in the schedule shall be notified by quarters concerned, it added. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Department also notified that as per the instructions of NCOC, the physical classes at all public and private schools in eight districts of the province would be closed from September 6 to 11. It said that all the institutions of higher education in districts Peshawar, Swabi, Malakand, Swat, Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra and DI Khan would remain closed for physical classes during the period. The additional measures come as Pakistan’s death toll crossed 26,000 on Friday and more than 5,600 coronavirus patients remained admitted to critical care. The country registered 3,787 more coronavirus cases on Friday after 59,745 tests were taken, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,171,578, the NCOC’s data showed. The positivity rate was recorded at 6.33%. With 57 more deaths, the death toll crossed the 26,000-mark and now stands at 26,035, according to the NCOC stats. The country’s daily recoveries continue to outnumber the daily new cases.