As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, the Federal government has decided to make facemasks compulsory for all citizens in crowded places as a part of measures taken to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, announced the decree in a media briefing held over the weekend.
Everyone in a crowded public place, mosque, bazaar, shopping mall, and public transport must wear a facemask to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
Dr. Mirza added that the general public must wear surgical or medical masks. Even a home-made cloth mask would suffice.
Dr. Mirza has requested citizens not to wear N-95 masks since it is a mask specially designed only for health care workers working in high risk and high contamination areas.
In line with the announcement made by SAPM, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat, has made wearing face masks in public places across the capital mandatory.
اسلام آباد میں تمام عوامی جگہوں پر ماسک پہننا /منہ ڈھانپنا اب لازم قراردیدیاگیا ہے۔ مارکیٹس،عوامی مقامات مساجد،پبلک ٹرانسپورٹ،لاری اڈہ،گلیوں،سڑکوں، دفاتر میں چیکنگ ہوگی۔ مجسٹریٹ تین ہزار تک جرمانے اور دفعہ 188 تعزیرات پاکستان کے تحت جیل بھی بھیجا جا سکتا ہے https://t.co/meI0kcjkU5
— Deputy Commissioner Islamabad (@dcislamabad) May 31, 2020
The capital administration will now monitor markets, public places, mosques, public transport, bus stops, streets, roads, and offices to enforce the directives of the Federal government.
District Magistrates, through powers vested in them by law, can either fine the violators up to Rs. 3,000 or send them to jail under section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code or both.
In a meeting of Punjab’s cabinet Coronavirus control committee held two weeks ago, Chief Minister Punjab, Usman Buzdar, had made wearing face masks compulsory for all citizens.
Following the announcement made by the Capital administration of imposition of fines over non-compliance, media reports started doing the rounds claiming that the Punjab government has announced a penalty for not wearing a facemask in public as well.
However, Punjab Information Minister, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chauhan, has rejected the media reports and clarified that no such decision has been taken yet.
The KP government had made wearing of face masks mandatory on April 25 in efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19. The KP government had directed district administrations to enforce its directives all over the province and ensure violators are dealt with according to law.
Sindh & Balochistan
On April 18, Both Sindh and Balochistan governments had made wearing face masks mandatory for all citizens. Deputy Commissioners were directed to ensure compliance across the province and deal with violations under relevant laws.