LAHORE (DNA) – Pakistan confirmed five more deaths from novel coronavirus in one day as the nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 599 and positive cases to 26,435, Dunya News reported on Friday.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 598 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours.
Pakistan has so far conducted 257,247 coronavirus tests and 11,993 in last 24 hours.
Punjab remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic followed by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Till now 10,033 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Punjab, 9,691 in Sindh, 3,956 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,725 in Balochistan, 558 in Islamabad, 394 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 78 in Azad Kashmir.
7,530 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas many are in critical condition.
PHASED LIFTING OF LOCKDOWN
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced phased lifting of the coronavirus lockdown from May 9.
After chairing the National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting, the premier briefed the nation over the COVID-19 situation.
Imran Khan said, “By the grace of Allah Almighty, Pakistan did not face pressure like other countries. Now we have to ease down the restrictions.”
Following are the important decisions made by the NCC:
Markets to Open for Five Days a Week
Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the markets will open for five days a week.
He said that small markets and shops in mohallas and rural areas will be allowed to open from Fajar to 5 pm.
The minister said the entire business, except outlets of essential items like food and medicines will remain closed for two days in a week.
Educational Institutions to Remain Closed Till 15 July
Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood said that the educational institutions will remain closed till 15 July.
He said that all the board examinations have been cancelled and students will be promoted to the next class and they can get admission in colleges and universities on the basis of their previous result. For example, a student can get admission in a university on the basis of his 11th class result.
Reopening of Industry
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar outlined plans to gradually reopen industries.
He said it has been unanimously decided to open allied industries of the construction sector, which include paint and pipe mills, tiles, electrical and industry and hardware stores across Pakistan.
Hamad Azhar said that the shops of essential commodities have already been opened and pipe mills, paint manufacturing, ceramics, tile shops will now open. In addition, electrical cable, steel and aluminum shops will open.
The minister said that the hardware stores will also open, while shops in markets and neighborhoods have also been allowed to open. “Shops will be closed 2 days a week,” he said.