Pakistan makes face masks mandatory amid record daily deaths from coronavirus

78 people, including four health workers, have died of COVID-19 infection in last 24 hours

09:07 PM | 30 May, 2020

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister's Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza says wearing masks at crowded places has been declared mandatory to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.

The announcement comes after 78 people, including four health workers, died of the COVID-19 infection in last 24 hours, which is the biggest tally in a single day in the South Asian country.

“In view of growing number of coronavirus cases and deaths due to this disease, the government has left no option, except to declare wearing of masks a must at mosques, markets, shopping malls, public transport, and other crowded places,” Dr Mirza said at a news conference in Islamabad on Saturday.

He appealed the masses to strictly follow precautionary protocols and other measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Health workers are the frontline force in fight against COVID-19 and the government has taken a number of measures to protect health workers under 'we care' programme,” he further said.

Regarding some messages, circulating on social media based on disinformation, the Special Assistant urged the opinion makers to guide people how to prevent the contagion instead of forwarding and promoting fake news on digital platforms. He also urged families of COVID-19 patients to demonstrate patience, while interacting with health workers at hospitals, who are treating Corona affected people.

In Pakistan, the recovery rate of coronavirus patients is 36 percent, while locally transmission rate stands at 92 percent and despite rise in the cases, only around 25 percent of our health system has been engaged so far.

Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf said we have brought back 33 thousand stranded Pakistanis from over 55 countries after the outbreak of Corona virus.

He said from 1st to 10th of next month, 20 thousand more overseas Pakistanis will be brought back home.

Taking care of balance between health and economy, Moeed said the Civil Aviation Authority has opened outbound flights. Whereas, he added, a comprehensive policy to facilitate the stranded Pakistanis will be announced soon.

Talking abound land borders, he said our frontiers with China and India are closed while goods transport has been allowed on Torkham and Chaman border for six days a week.

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