Lahore citizens not wearing a mask may face a six-month jail term

Lahore citizens not wearing a mask may face a six-month jail term

A young man wearing a face mask sits outside a closed shop as a market curfew begins during a province-wide lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus in Karachi, Pakistan, April 4, 2020. — uz Zaman/Files

The Lahore administration has warned citizens they may face a jail term of up to six months if they continue to flout safety precautions and neglect wearing a mask.

The move comes after a worryingly high rise in the Punjab capital’s positivity ratio, which has now gone up to 18%.

A meeting was held on Saturday under the chairmanship of the Lahore police chief and Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Usman in which the coronavirus situation was discussed and important decisions were taken.

The commissioner ordered strict implementation of the mask-wearing rule. He said that those who do not wear masks will be detained and may face a jail term of up to six months.

According to the commissioner, violators will have a case registered against them and this new injunction will go into effect starting today (Saturday).

Usman said that for the purpose, Lahore administration officials and police will routinely patrol the streets and take stern action against those not adhering to the rule.

Separately, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Ghulam Mehmood Dogar ordered the police to ensure the implementation of all government guidelines, especially in marriage halls and public places.

In this regard, the Lahore Chief Traffic Officer has also warned that any vehicles whose passengers are found seated without a mask will be impounded.

“Citizens must ensure they wear a mask before they leave their homes,” he said.

He ordered all traffic police on the roads to issue warnings to motorcycle and rickshaw drivers if found not wearing a mask.

Lahore’s positivity ratio shoots up

The move by the city administration comes as Lahore’s positivity ratio was reported to have shot up by an alarming rate.

In the last 24 hours, 6,762 tests were carried out, and 1,233 people tested positive for the infection — raising the city’s positivity ratio to 18%.

Also, a worryingly high number of cases are being witnessed among infants and teens.

At least 12,462 children have contracted coronavirus in Punjab, the province’s health department said, revealing that the infected include patients ranging from infants to children of 15 years.

Of these, in Lahore alone, 5,301 children have contracted coronavirus.

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