Lockdown to be lifted in phases starting Saturday: PM Khan

Noting that Pakistan is witnessing a surge in coronavirus-related deaths, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday that the National Coordination Committee (NCC) has decided to lift the lockdown in phases starting from Saturday.
Briefing the nation about decisions made during today’s meeting of the NCC, he said the decision to lift lockdown has been taken to mitigate the suffering of daily-wage earners, labourers and weak segments of society.
“The decision has been made due to the suffering of our people,” the premier explained.
“Every sector is reeling under difficulties at present, small traders, rickshaw and taxi drivers, as well as labourers, are facing great hardships due to [to the lockdown],” he pointed out, adding no one can say for sure if coronavirus cases will see a spike after relaxation in the lockdown.
Prime Minister Khan said the government rolled out the biggest relief package in Pakistan’s history.
“How long can we give a package? So we have to lift the lockdown,” he said, adding all industries that are being allowed to resume operations will have to follow standard operation procedures (SOPs) to avoid spread of the deadly virus.
The premier cautioned that if the people failed to follow SOPs and cases saw a surge, the government will be compelled to again enforce the lockdown. “It is up to the people to follow the SOPs as police can’t enforce guidelines by force.”

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