Pakistan reports 599 coronavirus fatalities, 26,435 cases


PESHAWAR (DNA) – Following the decisions made by Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding lifting of lockdown in the country in phases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday announced to open small markets and shops.

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar on Friday, Adviser to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Information and Public Relation Ajmal Wazir said that the KP government will reopen educational institutions according to the decision of the federal government. He said, “We will not take an independent decision in this regard.”

The provincial minister said that the lockdown in the province will be eased in phases, adding that all small shops and markets will be open for five days from Saturday.

The information adviser said that in the second phase of the construction sector the shops of steel, paint, aluminum hardware, PVC pipe and sanitary shops would be opened, adding that all vendors will ensure compliance with SOPs.

Ajmal Wazir said that the ban on shopping malls, restaurants, wedding halls and venues would remain in place across the province.

Earlier, he said that the provincial government is extending all out support to the media persons affected by coronavirus in the province.

The provincial adviser said this while handing over dispatching relief packages for affected media men in Peshawar.

Ajmal Wazir urged media personnel to execute their responsibilities with devotion and support the government in defeating coronavirus.

He lauded the performance of journalists in creating public awareness against corona epidemic as a part of frontline worker.

Previously, People from all walks of life in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision of easing lockdown restrictions in phases from Saturday, terming it as a landmark decision that would help in addressing the financial problems of the poor segments of the society.

Provincial Minister for Environment and Forests Syed Ishtiaq Urmar welcomed the decision the premier took after chairing a high-level meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NOC) in Islamabad, and maintained that lifting the lockdown in phases would help the downtrodden, daily wagers, labourers and poor segments of the society.

He said that allowing small markets and shops to open from dawn to 5 pm would help hundreds of thousands of shopkeepers and retailers in supporting their families.

Economic and business expert Sumbul Riaz also appreciated the decision regarding opening of businesses and termed it as a big step forward towards creation of employment opportunities for thousands of labourers in the construction industry.

She said that coronavirus lockdown had badly affected the country’s exports and economy and the decision of easing lockdown would help wipe out poverty and create jobs for youth.