Pakistan on Thursday announced a gradual exit from countrywide lockdown from March 09, despite the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the lockdown has badly affected labourers, small businessmen, and ordinary people, Samma News reported. The coronavirus cases in Pakistan reached 24,954. Meanwhile, the coronavirus death toll mounted to 593.
"We have decided to do this in phases because many people are facing a lot of difficulties and we cannot continue with it," he said while speaking to the media after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee.
"We are a developing country and we can't afford to keep the country shut for much longer," he remarked. "Our exports have fallen. We already had limited funds and we spent it on people's welfare. We can't help all of those affected by the lockdown."
The lockdown in Pakistan was imposed in March due to the increasing cases of coronavirus.
The closing down of shops markets, shopping centre and offices except for emergency service impacted the country's economy badly. "Our tax revenue decreased by 35 per cent while exports also downed due to the lockdown in the country," the premier explained.
The government also allowed congregational prayer in mosques during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The authorities, however, extended the closure of educational institutions across the country until July 15.
"All board exams throughout the country have been cancelled. Students will be evaluated based on their previous performances in board exams," Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said.
( With inputs from ANI )