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Karachi Makes Face Masks Mandatory as COVID-19 Cases Surge in Pakistan

Authorities on Friday made face masks mandatory for the residents of Karachi, Pakistan’s most densely populated seaside metropolis, to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, announced an official statement.
Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani instructed his subordinates to encourage the residents of the city to cover their faces in public.

He also directed them to act against those individuals who violate the instruction by imposing a penalty of up to Rs.500 (US$3.13).

“Make sure that shopkeepers and markets are following the SOPs [standard operating procedures],” Shalwani said, referring to the officially prescribed safety measures to deal with the pandemic.


“Shopkeepers must cover their faces and not let customers enter their outlets without fallther restrictions as new coronavirus infections have surged across the country, with 1,376 new cases and 30 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, according to a government portal.


Apart from Karachi, Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, also made face masks mandatory in all indoor and outdoor places and on transportation services. All bazaars, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, bakeries, wedding halls, beauty parlors and barbershops have been ordered to close shop at 10pm and amusement parks at 6pm.


The southern Sindh province reported 556 cases and 17 deaths on Thursday, its highest daily totals since July 29, when the province registered 654 cases.


Sindh’s case tally now stands at 148,343, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said in a statement.


The province also recorded 17 deaths in the past 24 hours, a three-month record. The provincial death toll has risen to 2,664.


Despite the rising cases, Pakistan’s federal and provincial administrations on Thursday decided not to close education institutes.

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