The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has officially made masks mandatory on domestic flights due to the country’s gradual rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The order from PCCA came after Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi, reported that its COVID-19 positivity ratio rose to 21% compared with a national rate of 2.8%.

The PCCA said in a statement, which it posted on Twitter: “With immediate effect, as communicated by National Command and Operation Center vide letter number 1-50/CDC/NIH/2022 dated June 23, 2022, mask wearing will be mandatory onboard domestic flights within Pakistan. Remaining COVID-19 guidelines applicable on domestic air travel within Pakistan remain unchanged. All airline operators are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance.”

In March 2022, Pakistan disbanded the National Command and Operations Center, which was overseeing the COVID response, as infections fell to the lowest since the pandemic began.

According to the National Institute of Health Islamabad the latest COVID-19 positivity rate in the country rose to 3.50% as of June 29, 2022.

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