Islamabad (Web Desk): Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said on Saturday that wearing masks at crowded places has been declared mandatory to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he said in view of growing number of coronavirus 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.
The SAPM 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.
"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," he added.
Regarding some messages, circulating on social media based on disinformation, the SAPM 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.
"Recovery rate of COVID-19 patients is 36 percent, while locally transmission rate stands at 92 percent and despite rise in the cases, only around 25 percent of our health system has been engaged so far," Dr Zafar Mirza said.
Speaking on the occasion, SAPM on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf said that so far around 33,000 Pakistanis have been repatriated from 55 countries via repatriation flights. He said that 20,000 stranded nationals will be repatriated from June 1 to 10.
Moeed Yousuf said that facilitating labourers in gulf countries is top priority of the government.
Taking care of balance between health and economy, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has opened outbound flights, the SAPM said, adding that a comprehensive policy to facilitate the stranded Pakistanis will be announced soon.