COVID-19: KP makes face masks compulsory in public

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now requires everyone to wear a face mask as coronavirus spreads

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) became the first province of Pakistan to make face masks compulsory to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Mask use will now be compulsory in public places, said KP‘s finance and health minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra. The people would be encouraged and educated to use face masks in public for one week and the decision would then be enforced strictly later.

He said that medical masks should be reserved for health workers, while scarves or cloth covers would be sufficient for people.

“All members of public, during their movement outdoors, shall be required to wear masks at all times including surgical masks where possible, or masks made of cloth,” the notification reads.

By wearing face masks, people will not only protect themselves but others around them too, he added.

The decision was announced after a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. Ministers Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Shaukat Yousafzai, adviser to the CM Ajmal Wazir, Peshawar Corps Commander Lt-General Nauman Mahmood, chief secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi and senior military and civil officers attended the meeting.

The meeting also decided to strictly monitor the implementation of social distancing and other precautionary measures in essential items shops exempted from lockdown.

More than 12,000 cases of coronavirus and 256 deaths have been reported in Pakistan as of April 25.

Many countries across the world are now encouraging their citizens to wear homemade as people are turning to online DIY tutorials posted by medical experts. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend that people wear “cloth face coverings” when they go out.

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