The Sindh government has decided to reopen all business activities in the province from Monday, August 10, as proposed by the National Coordination Committee.
The decision was taken in a meeting headed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Saturday. It was decided that business activities and restaurants will be allowed to remain open till 9pm throughout the week.
The timings may be increased on weekends, Shah said. He added that people need to change their behaviors to adjust to the pandemic. “We need to start our day early and end it latest by 10pm,” he urged.
Schools and other educational institutions will reopen from September 15.
It was, however, agreed that the government will review the situation under the new policies till the first week of the next month and decide if it will go ahead with the plan. All final decisions will be made in the task force meetings.
The decision came shortly after Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar’s announcement of reopening restaurants, cinemas, theaters and parks from August 10.
Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho revealed that the number of coronavirus cases in Sindh is on a steady decline. On August7, only 487 new cases were reported, she said, adding that the trend has been downward for the last 30 days, she said.
The chief minister expressed his delight at this but cautioned that this did not mean that the pandemic had ended. “Rather, it shows that we have to live with the virus until a vaccine is developed,” he said.
Shah added that the COVID-19 hospitals established at NIPA and University Road would continue to function.
Pakistan went into a lockdown on March 23 and all restaurants, shopping malls and shops were closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Schools across the country were closed on March 13.