ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza says wearing masks at crowded places has been declared mandatory to prevent spread of Coronavirus. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad this afternoon, he said in view of growing number of Corona cases and deaths due to this disease, the government has left no option, except to declare wearing of masks a must at mosques, markets, shopping malls, public transport, and other crowded places. He appealed the masses to strictly follow precautionary protocols and other measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Zafar Mirza said that 78 people, including four health workers, died of Coronavirus in last 24 hours, which is the biggest tally in a single day in Pakistan. He said health workers are the frontline force in fight against COVID-19 and the government has taken a number of measures to protect health workers under ‘we care’ programme. Regarding some messages, circulating on social media based on disinformation, the Special Assistant urged the opinion makers to guide people how to prevent the contagion instead of forwarding and promoting fake news on digital platforms. He also urged families of COVID-19 patients to demonstrate patience, while interacting with health workers at hospitals, who are treating Corona affected people. The Special Assistant said recovery rate of Corona patients is 36 percent, while locally transmission rate stands at 92 percent and despite rise in Corona cases, only around 25 percent of our health system has been engaged so far. Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf said we have brought back 33 thousand stranded Pakistanis from over 55 countries after the outbreak of Corona virus. He said from 1st to 10th of next month, 20 thousand more overseas Pakistanis will be brought back home. Moeed Yousuf said facilitating laborers in gulf countries is our priority. He said taking care of balance between health and economy, Civil Aviation Authority has opened outbound flights. He said a comprehensive policy to facilitate the stranded Pakistanis will be announced soon. Talking abound land borders, he said our frontiers with China and India are closed while goods transport has been allowed on Torkham and Chaman border for six days a week.
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