Islamabad, June 2 (IANS) The Islamabad district administration has announced to impose a fine of up to 3,000 PKR ($18) for not wearing face masks at public places, in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19, the Pakistani capital’s Deputy Commissioner (DC) said.
Wearing a mask was already mandatory for the employees of factories, shopping malls and other stores ever since they were allowed to operate after ease in lockdown by the government last month, but now it is also mandatory for the general public under the directives of the health ministry, DC Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat told Xinhua news agency.
On Saturday, Special Assistant to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza said that the government has made it mandatory for general public to wear masks in mosques, markets, shopping malls, on public transport, trains and commercial flights, and in other crowded areas to avoid the spread of the disease.
The DC said that initially an awareness campaign will be launched for which special teams have been formed, which will visit the city on daily basis and tell those who are not wearing masks to follow the rules, and after a few days fine will be imposed on those who do not cooperate with the authorities and keep on ignoring the directives of the government.
Shafqaat said that health experts have told them that the virus transmission can be stopped by 75 per cent by wearing masks, and they are hopeful to control the spread of the virus by encouraging people to adopt it as their lifestyle.
The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in the country.
A sharp surgehas been witnessed since the ease in lockdown by the government.
According to data released by the country’s health ministry on Monday, 72,460 people have been tested positive of the disease and 1,543 died of it.
Islamabad has reported a total of 2,589 cases, and according to hospital sources, most of the patients in the capital were being quarantined at their homes due to their stable condition.