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Karachi District Central makes masks mandatory as coronavirus cases surge

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A teacher shows a sign of social distancing at a public school following the government’s announcement to reopen educational institutes starting from September 15 after nearly six months due to the COVID-19 in Karachi on September 14, 2020. — INP/Files

Deputy Commissioner District Central Karachi, Dr MB Raja Oharejo, on Thursday made wearing masks compulsory in confined spaces as coronavirus cases surge across Pakistan.

The decision has been made in light of the National Command and Operations Centre’s recommendations, stated the deputy commissioner.

“Strict enforcement of compulsory mask-wearing in confined spaces (indoors, public transport, outdoor crowded settings like markets and bus stands, and railway stations, etc.),” the notification read.

Moreover, markets, shopping malls, marriage halls, and restaurants, etc. — excluding essential services i.e. medical stores, clinics, and hospitals — have been ordered to close by 10pm.

The notification stated that “amusement [and] public parks” will be closed by 6pm daily.

Earlier during the day, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghan had said the situation on schools’ closure was unclear at the moment.

The provincial minister had said that schools had been reopened to mitigate education loss suffered by students due to the pandemic. “Keeping in view the surge in COVID-19 cases, we don’t know yet if and when schools will be closed again.”

Karachi recorded 293 coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to a statement from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

CM Murad had revealed that 109 coronavirus cases were recorded in District East, 99 South, 32 Central, 21 Malir, 17 Korangi, and 15 in West in a single day on Wednesday.

Sindh, so far, recorded 144,765 coronavirus cases, 2,611 deaths, and 137,656 recoveries from the pandemic, according to official statistics.

Coronavirus deaths in Sindh increased during October

Meanwhile, Sindh has witnessed an increase in coronavirus-related deaths in the month of October, the provincial health department said.

At least 24 deaths at home have been reported in the last 29 days — an increase of more than 100% from September’s death toll of 10.

Meanwhile, in hospitals, at least 80 people from across the province succumbed to COVID-19 during October while 91 had passed away in September.

Data released by the department showed that men accounted for 70% of the deaths and women 30%.

COVID-19 spike

Pakistan reported 908 new cases of coronavirus on October 28, the highest number of positive cases since July 29. Sindh has reported over 900 cases and 13 deaths in the last three days.

The case positivity for the country crossed 3% with over SARS-Cov-2 being detected in over 900 samples out of the 29,449 tests conducted on October 28.

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