ISLAMABAD, Nov 9 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan Monday said that citizens should avoid social gatherings and public should cooperate with the government measures as number of COVID-19 cases was increasing every day and country now enters in deadly second wave of coronavirus.

“SOPs have been prepared for all persons keeping in mind the prevailing disease situation and a policy of smart lockdown could be successfully implemented only if the citizens fully cooperated with the government and abide by these SOPs”, he said while talking to a private news channel.

Dr Sultan also regretted the masses were not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to the extent it was necessary to avoid the spread of the virus, adding, “We cannot win the war against the deadly virus without cooperation of the people”.

“Mini smart lockdowns have already been imposed in various parts of the country including Karachi, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir where strict instructions have been issued to administrations to ensure that precautionary measures are followed. But like in the past, success is impossible without the cooperation of the public”, he added.

“Hopefully, we will beat this second coronavirus wave if the people follow guidelines, wear face masks and avoid social gatherings,” he mentioned.

He said all provinces were asked to ensure that SOPs were implemented strictly and special attention was paid to high risk sectors including transport, markets, wedding halls, restaurants and public gatherings.

SAPM on health said the people need to be more careful about the situation and play an active role in the fight against the pandemic.

He stressed the need for creating media awareness among citizens so as to achieve positive results of the measures taken so far.

Dr Faisal Sultan said that the government was mulling over setting up a hotline so that the citizens could inform authorities when coronavirus SOPs were being violated.

Replying to a query about restriction on indoor wedding parties, he said, “We prefer outdoor dining at tables spaced at least six feet apart from other people, tables must not block entrances, exits, pedestrian or handicapped access, parking spaces may be used for dining tables, but there must be a physical barrier or separation to protect customers from vehicle traffic and ensuring outdoor dining areas are maintained and free of trash and other debris.