Pak Cabinet approves easing lockdown after May 9

The Pakistan cabinet has approved easing the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the country gradually after May 9, provided that strict implementation of the coronavirus-related preventive measures suggested by the government was ensured.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan decided that small businesses and transport to some extent should be reopened so that these people could have a chance to earn,” Dawn news reported on Wednesday citing Infor­mation Minister ShibliFaraz as saying at a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

He said Khan, however, warned that threat from the viral disease was not over and could strike again if the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) were not followed.

“The Prime Minister was of the view that the situation can turn worse if SOPs are not implemented and followed after soft opening of businesses and industries,” Faraz added.

The government is going to open more businesses and sectors despite a surge in COVID-19 cases that has now reached 23,655 with 544 deaths in the country. Punjab and Sindh, the two worst-hit provinces, have also announced some relaxation in lockdown by allowing reopening of few businesses like garment/cloth, shoes, automobile and spare parts.