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As second COVID-19 wave sweeps in, Pakistan mandates face mask in public


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Islamabad [Pakistan], October 29 (ANI): The Pakistan authorities on Wednesday made it compulsory for all citizens to wear a face mask when stepping out of their homes as the second wave of the coronavirus has started in the country.
The directive by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) comes a day after Pakistan’s active cases surpassed the 11,000 mark.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan announced that the second wave of the deadly virus had started in the country, Dawn reported.
The meeting was presided over by Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, who later tweeted that the NCOC has approved the use of antigen testing in addition to the PCR tests being carried out
“This is part of a strategy to increase the level of testing. The symptomatic cases will all still be administered PCR tests. The decision is in line with the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation,” he said.
According to a statement by NCOC, all provinces have been asked to ensure that people wear face masks and adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs), particularly in bazaars, shopping malls, public transport and restaurants.
At present, 4,374 lockdowns have been imposed across 11 cities in the country; Quetta, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Peshawar, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Mirpur, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad and Karachi.
As of Wednesday, Pakistan has reported 3,30,516 COVID-19 cases and the death toll in the country stands at 6,766. (ANI)

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