The Pakistani government has allowed people to work five days a week during the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made at the meeting of the National Coordinating Committee. It is chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The meeting decided that shops and businesses can operate using SOP from 9 am to 7 pm. Every Saturday and Sunday the country will be completely blocked.
NCC agreed to operate 10 more passenger trains. Pakistan Railways will now operate 40 trains in the country.
The meeting decided that all Pakistanis stranded abroad will be taken home by special flight.
It also asked the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to prepare proposals for reopening tourist attractions.
Prime Minister Khan briefed the media after the meeting. He said that the situation in Pakistan is different from that in Europe.
“We have poverty here,” he said. “A majority of the people can’t even have two meals a day.”
The premier said they had to live with coronavirus until a vaccine was not developed.
“Lockdown is not a cure of the virus,” he said. “It can only reduce the spread of the virus.”
PM Khan said his government allocated $ 8 billion to people affected by the blockade. He said there is no guarantee that the virus will not spread after the restrictions are relaxed.
“Coronavirus has to spread, I had said it on the day one that it would increase,” the prime minister said. “People must demonstrate responsibility and strictly act upon the SOPs.”
He said that people and the elderly affected by diabetes and blood pressure are more vulnerable.
With regard to ventilators, Khan said that his government is rapidly increasing the number of ventilators. “Even now we have more than 50% of the ventilator vacancies.”
He assured healthcare professionals that his government was concerned about their safety.
“Doctors and other healthcare professionals are waging Jihad,” the premier said. “We are aware of their difficulties.”
He said that the embargo had an adverse effect on the economy, reduced taxes by 30%, and stopped investment.
Pakistan has imposed a blockade on the country in the last week of March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The country has gradually relaxed restrictions in the past few weeks. However, the relaxation of restrictions has been accompanied by a surge in coronavirus cases across the country.
The number of known cases in Pakistan has jumped to 72,678. To date, the virus has killed 1,543 people in the country.