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June 1, 2020

Wearing of masks made mandatory in public places across Islamabad

Islamabad

June 1, 2020

Islamabad : As the COVID-19 cases in the federal are continuously on the rise, the government has decided to discipline the residents while tightening preventive measures in public places.

According to available data, over 2,400 COVID-19 cases have been reported from rural and urban areas of the federal capital with Sector I-10 on top of the list with 161 COVID-19 positive cases till Sunday. The posh sector like I-8 till Saturday evening had registered 99 COVID-19 (the figure might have crossed the 100 mark).

The situation is not different in sectors G-9, G-8, G-7, G-6, G-10, G-13 and G-11 with 112, 103, 102, 94, 85, 79 and 72 COVID-19 positive cases respectively. The posh sectors like F-7, F-6, F-10, F-11, F-8 and E-11 have also registered 37, 33, 35, 40, 23 and 43 COVID-19 positive cases respectively.

The most affected rural areas include Lohi Bher 149, Tarlai 126, Sohan 94, Bhara Kahu 99 and Rawat with 63 cases. In view of rapid increase in cases, the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat has announced make wearing masks in public places mandatory. Wearing Face masks has been made mandatory in all public places including crowded public places, mosque, bazaars, shopping malls, public transport including road, rails and flights. Anyone who violates will be charged with Section 188 CrPC. All the Assistant Commissioners and Magistrates may impose fines on public in Islamabad now.

As per SOPs issued by the Ministry for National Health Services, once the mask is worn, it is part of the face and it must not be touched with hands throughout its use. If touched or handled after wearing, then hands must be washed with soap and water or sanitized with an alcohol-based hand rub according to the guidelines of hand hygiene.

The mask should be replaced with a new one when it gets soiled or becomes moist. The soiled disposable mask shall be disposed of properly and the reusable one shall be placed in a sealable polythene bag and placed in a dedicated pocket of the dress or in a dedicated pocket of a washable handbag. The pocket of the dress or the bag, in which a soiled mask was saved, shall not be used or handled for any other purpose before washing. The N95 mask is only needed in high risk healthcare facilities by the health workers and is beneficial only when worn with special precautions and appropriate procedures.

According to Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, the face masks are now easily available in markets saying they are arranging more masks in the days to come. “To start, we will create awareness before strictly implementing orders,” he said. He said those who could not wear masks should at least cove faces while moving in public places.