ISLAMABAD: In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 amid the recent spike in new cases of the pathogen, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday made the wearing of masks mandatory for domestic travel.
Passengers will be required to wear face masks while travelling in busses, trains and planes, said the NCOC.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had revised the travel advisory for domestic flights amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, making face maks mandatory for the passengers.
The development comes after the country reported a surge in the new infections with the experts warning that the increased travel is one of the reasons behind the spike in positivity.
According to a CAA notification, the concerned authorities have been ordered to ensure compliance with the new directives while the other COVID-19 guidelines on domestic air travel remained unchanged.
The air regulator had lifted restrictions after the country overcame the fifth wave of coronavirus, however, after the recent surge, the authorities are mulling to reimpose certain SOPs.
The latest government data showed that Karachi is the most affected city, reporting a high positivity ratio during the last few days.
The metropolis recorded 22.65% positivity in the last 24 hours while the nationwide ratio was 2.85%, the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) figures showed.
In view of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, the health experts had warned that the surge in new infections may turn into the sixth wave of the pandemic.
In Karachi, 234 new infections were detected after 14,437 diagnostic tests were conducted over the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, Hyderabad reported 0.3% positivity rate, Mardan 2.44%, Islamabad 2.31%, Lahore 2.76%, Peshawar 3%, Sargodha 1.64% and Rawalpindi 1.05%.
In addition to this, Sindh’s overall positivity rate stands at 6.17%, Punjab’s 1.17%, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 1.15% and AJK’s 2.94, said the NIH.
As per the latest statistics of the NIH, two more people succumbed to the virus in the country during the past 24 hours.
The fresh infections — detected after diagnostic testing on 13,412 samples — took Pakistan's COVID-19 positivity rate to 2.85% and the total case count to over 1.53 million.
Meanwhile, 87 patients suffering from the disease are being treated in intensive-care units (ICUs), while two others succumbed to the virus, taking the country's COVID-19 death toll to 30,390.
With the fresh cases and deaths, Pakistan's number of active cases stands at 4,632.
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