Islamabad [Pakistan], November 8 (ANI): Amid the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, the number of new COVID-19 cases crossed the 1,500-mark for the first time since July, on Saturday.
Citing National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Dawn reported that 1,543 people tested positive for the virus on Saturday. The total number of active cases in the country stands at 17,520.
Meanwhile, health experts have criticised the government's recent decision to impose Rs 100 fine on those not wearing masks and allow 1,000 guests at outdoor weddings, Dawn further reported.
The NCOC on Friday had decided to fine violators Rs 100 and provide them three masks on the spot. It also directed that only 50 per cent of staff may work from their offices, both in the public and private sectors.
Prof Dr Javed Akram, University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor, said the rise in the cases was expected as 90 per cent of the people had started ignoring standard operating procedures. "The Rs 100 fine is nothing but a joke," Dr Akram said, suggesting that up to Rs 10,000 fine should be announced to create a deterrence.
"Allowing 1,000 guests at a wedding function is also unacceptable," he said.
Dawn quoted Pakistan Medical Association General Secretary Dr Qaiser Sajjad said that a minimum Rs 1,000 fine should be imposed on violators and only 100 to 150 people permitted to attend wedding events.
Dr Sajjad urged the government to distribute free masks and regulate their prices as well as that of sanitisers.
He feared that with the increase in cases, medicines, oxygen cylinders, and other necessary items might disappear from the markets, therefore, it was all the more important for the relevant departments to ensure their availability at affordable rates. (ANI)