Pakistan’s daily death toll from the coronavirus is climbing, hitting a new high of 88 on May 30, amid reports of acute care bed shortages and near daily warnings from health professionals to tighten lockdown measures.
The government, however, has kept mosques open, urging safe distancing but not enforcing the rules. Zafar Mirza, a healthcare adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said that wearing a face mask in now mandatory in the country of 220 million people.
“Face masks are now mandatory to be worn by everybody while in crowded public places, mosques, bazaars, shopping malls, public transport i.e. road, rail and flights,” he tweeted on May 31. “We have reviewed our guidelines for wearing masks and have added a mandatory section.”
In the latest reduction of restrictions, the government has withdrawn the limits on congregations in mosques and churches in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where minorities make up less than 5% of the population of 220 million.
Pakistan has confirmed 69,496 cases of the coronavirus, including 1,483 deaths.
Updated with government policy on face masks