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Wednesday Oct 28 2020

Anyone not wearing a mask in Islamabad can be arrested: Deputy Commissioner

A man and a woman wear protective masks while walking along a street in Pakistan, August 18, 2020. Reuters/Akhtar Soomro/Files

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat on Wednesday announced a warning for the capital's citizens whereby anyone found not wearing a mask in public places "can be arrested by police" under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

A district magistrate notification, shared with the tweet by Shafqaat, stated that in exercise of powers conferred on him under Section 144, he is ordering the use of face mask or cover by the general public while visiting public places in the Islamabad Capital Territory to guard against the spread of coronavirus.

He said that the order comes into effect immediately and will remain in force for a period of two months.

It comes on the back of advice by epidemiologists of the Covid Nerve Centre and aims to prevent community spread.

"Given the rising positivity of COVID-19 cases it becomes essential that the general public" abide by these rules, said the notification.

Earlier in the day, the National Command and Operation Centre had declared the use of masks by all citizens as mandatory, citing a rising number of coronavirus cases.

The NCOC has made it compulsory for everyone to wear masks in government and private offices as well as in markets and shopping malls.

It shared that so far, authorities have imposed 4,374 lockdowns in 11 cities of Pakistan.

The directive was issued as the country reported 825 cases and 14 deaths due to the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.