The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza, says that wearing masks at crowded places has been declared mandatory to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad yesterday afternoon, the de factor health minister said that in view of the growing number of coronavirus cases and deaths due to the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus, the government has no option but to declare that the wearing of masks is a must at mosques, markets, shopping malls, public transport, and other crowded places.
He appealed to the masses to strictly follow precautionary protocols and other measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Mirza said that 78 people, including four healthcare workers, died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the biggest tally in a single day in Pakistan.
He said healthcare workers are the frontline force in the fight against the coronavirus and that the government has taken measures to protect them.
Regarding some messages, circulating on social media based on disinformation, the prime minister’s adviser urged opinion makers to guide people on how to prevent the contagion instead of forwarding and promoting fake news on digital platforms.
Mirza also urged families of Covid-19 patients to demonstrate patience, while interacting with healthcare workers at hospitals who are treating infected people.
He said the recovery rate of coronavirus patients is 36%, while the local transmission rate stands at 92%, and that despite the rise in Covid-19 cases, only 25% of the healthcare system has been engaged so far.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf said that the government has brought back 33,000 stranded Pakistanis from over 55 countries following the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
He said from June 1-10, 20,000 more overseas Pakistanis will be brought home.
Yusuf also said that facilitating labourers in the Gulf countries is the government’s priority.
The adviser said that the core focus of the government is to bring back stranded labourers from the Gulf countries that were unable to afford the travel expense.
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