Pakistan eases lockdown; reports 1,637 new COVID-19 cases in a day


Muslim devotees offer Friday prayers at a mosque during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Karachi on May 8, 2020. (Photo by RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP via Getty Images)
Muslim devotees offer Friday prayers at a mosque during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Karachi on May 8, 2020. (Photo by RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP via Getty Images)

THOUGH COVID-19 cases are on the rise, Pakistan eased the month-long lockdown on Saturday (9. The country reported 1,637 new infections and 24 deaths in a single day.

The deadly virus has claimed 619 deaths in the country so far, and the total number of cases now stands at 27,474.

The easing of the lockdown is happening in a phased manner by allowing various businesses to open up from Saturday. The country has imposed the lockdown in March end.

According to prime minister Imran Khan the lockdown is lifted due to the current economic conditions of the country.   Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah and adviser to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Ajmal Wazir said the provincial government is on board with Khan’s plan.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday (8) announced the easing of lockdown enforced on March 21. According to it, shops and selected businesses will open four days a week and that all businesses will be closed at 4pm.

Also, the government has allowed congregational prayers in mosques during the month of Ramzan after the clerics agreed to follow the government guidelines on social distancing while praying in mosques.

However, doctors and the Opposition expressed reservations about the decisions.

Schools in Pakistan will remain closed until July 15.  The Punjab province reported 10,471 cases, Sindh 9,691, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 4,327, Balochistan 1,876, Islamabad 609, Gilgit-Baltistan 421 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 79 cases.

So far 7,756 patients have recovered. The authorities have conducted 270,025 tests including 12,982 in the last 24 hours, health officials said.