National tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases near 26,000

National tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases near 26,000

Lahore/Quetta/Karachi/Peshawar (Staff Report/Agencies): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Friday rose to 25,837.

At least 10,033 cases reported in Punjab, 9,090 in Sindh, 3,956 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,725 in Balochistan, 394 in Gilgit Baltistan, 558 in Islamabad, and 78 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the National Command and Control Centre, the death toll related to COVID-19 has reached 594, while at least 7,530 patients have fully recovered.

The number of coronavirus cases has continued to soar despite the country being under a lockdown from the last month.

However, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the lockdown will be lifted in phases starting from Saturday.

Addressing the nation after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC), the premier said the decision was made in consultation with all the provinces to ease out people's lives.

The PM said labourers, ordinary people, and small business had suffered a lot due to lockdown, which prompted us to open the curbs. The PM added that 35 percent of revenue collection had decreased, while exports had also come down. He maintained the country had already opened the construction sector.

PM Khan said that public transport would remain shut over provinces' reservations.

The Prime Minister appealed the people to observe self-discipline and Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) to prevent spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

Giving detail of the decision taken at the NCC, Planning Minister Asad Umar said small markets and shops in mohallas and rural areas will be allowed to open from Fajar to 5pm He said the entire business, except outlets of essential items like food and medicines will remain closed in two days of the week.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar 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.

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 3.5 million and death toll tops 260,000.