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Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Fines Himself for Not Wearing a Mask

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As the coronavirus cases in Pakistan continue to go on an upwards spiral, the need for wearing masks and following SOPs has increased more than ever. In such times, authorities have started enforcing said SOPs strictly to prevent further spread of the virus. For this purpose, the district administration in Islamabad has imposed Section 144 in the Federal Capital for a period of two months, making wearing face mask at public places mandatory

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad – Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat – stated that enforcing section-144 is necessary for the compliance of COVID-19 SOPs among the general public as the country fears a second wave of the virus. As per the DC, this was imposed following the advice of epidemiologists of DC COVID Nerve Center.

“Given the rising positivity of COVID-19 cases it becomes essential that the general public must use/ wear face mask while visiting public places in Islamabad Capital Territory,” he stated. He further added that anyone seen without a face mask would be arrested by the ICT Police. The DC also shared the notification in his tweet.

Leading by Example

To encourage the public to follow the SOPs, DC and District Magistrate Hamza followed suit with these orders himself first. Not only did he follow the SOPs himself, he also stopped the vehicles to convince people to follow the given health guidelines. The DC has gone on record to say that even he could be arrested for not wearing a face mask as section 144 is imposed in the federal capital.

DC Hamza Shafqat also took it upon himself to inspect whether the COVID-19 SOPs were being followed or not. He shared videos of checking public servants at the entry of Pakistan Secretariat and in Metro, assuring that this law is applicable to both public and the public servants equally and that no one would be allowed to enter said areas without masks.

Soon after though, a twitter user was quick to point out that despite the enforcement of SOPs everywhere and the fact that offices don’t permit entry without masks, the DC himself is ‘seemingly’ not following the SOPs himself. He demanded that the DC be fined and his office be sealed for a few days.

DC Hamza Shafqat Fines Himself

Clearing the misunderstanding up, DC Hamza Shafqat responded to the tweet, saying that he had just come out of his car and the pictures were taken within seconds of that. He added that he quickly put his mask back on in a minute. Though, to clear the public’s concerns and to get the point across, he assured that he would fine himself and pay an amount of Rs. 1000 as fine to the government and share the challan on his twitter as well.

Furthermore, when journalist Syed Raza asked for proof of his claims as there was no mask in the DC’s hands, he was responded to with the requested proof as well.

The coronavirus pandemic is on a constant upwards trend in Pakistan right now, with the active cases having risen up to more than 12 thousand. Undoubtedly, enforcement of SOPs in the country is extremely important to prevent countrywide lockdowns and people should abide by these guidelines.

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