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Marriage halls, schools reopening a challenge

ISLAMABAD            –        Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Friday said that the reopening of marriage halls and educational institutions is the major challenge for the government to tackle

While talking to The Nation, Asad Umar explained why the government planned to reopen marriage halls and educational institutions at a later stage than other businesses. Explaining the overall scenario, the federal minister stated that due to the crowd and rush like situation in these types of places, the authorities had decided to reopen these sectors of businesses on a gradual scale.

“Instead of opening it immediately which could increase the cases of coronavirus in the country, it is better to reopen these (sectors) with total precautions”, said Asad Umar. He further stated that the plan was carried out with experts’ precision. The marriage halls were given the date for their reopening before a month so that they could start bookings and reservations from today, said Asad.

“Secondly, because of the forthcoming month of Muharram and 10 days of Ashura when religious gatherings are held across the country, we have decided to keep marriage halls and educational sector closed till that period,” the minister explains.

In addition to this, the minister said, the results of the new cases from Eid gatherings throughout the country were coming on Sunday which will further help the government to analyse the condition and take action, accordingly. The minister was optimistic and hoped the results to be much fewer than the previous Eid when a sudden hike was seen in corona cases in Pakistan.

The emergence of coronavirus in Islamabad had pulled all the businesses into an edge. However, businesses like marriage halls and educational institutions are completely shut down from the very beginning of the emergence of coronavirus in Pakistan. Unlike other businesses like shops, gymnasiums, malls and Markaz which were observed open following SOPs, marriage halls and educational institutions remained closed for weeks.

One owner of a marriage hotel in Islamabad Imtiaz Ahmed said that his hotel remained closed for the past five months that caused unimaginable loss in terms of finance for him and other stakeholders of the hotel.

Imtiaz said that it was unfair for businessmen like him who were bearing losses due to closure of their businesses whereas others were allowed to reopen and continue their businesses.

Asad Umar on Thursday said dine-in restaurants and beauty salons would reopen across Pakistan on August 10, as efforts against the coronavirus pandemic seemed to be bearing fruit. He further said the National Coordination Committee (NCC) had decided that all the educational institutions and marriage halls would be opened on September 15 after a final review by the relevant authorities on 7th September.

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