ISLAMABAD: The government no longer requires passengers travelling domestically or abroad by air to wear a face mask on board as part of Covid-19 precautions, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has said.

The requirement has been dropped as infections continue to decline both within the country and the world over.

“Mask wearing as a part of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) is no longer a mandatory requirement during domestic and international travel, however, still preferable,” a notification available with Dawn said.

75 cases, two deaths reported over 24 hours; positivity rate at 0.64pc

The latest NCOC data released on Saturday reported 75 cases and two deaths related to Covid over 24 hours. Those cases were based on 11,718 tests, meaning a positivity rate of 0.64 per cent. Besides, 48 patients were in critical care, the data showed.

Only two cities conducted more than 1,000 tests, including Karachi (4,386) and Lahore (1,054).

There have been 1,572,598 infections and 30,616 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began in 2020.

The number of single-day infections hit record levels in January this year, crossing 8,000 on some days.

However, deaths had already peaked in 2021, with 201 citizens dying of Covid on April 27 that year.

As Covid cases subsided over time, Pakistan disbanded the NCOC, which oversees the Covid response, on March 31 this year as infections fell to the lowest since the outbreak began. However, the new government revived it two months later to fight Omicron, a variant of SARS-CoV-2 — a strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2022

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