Pakistan not to close businesses despite COVID-19 resurgence

Nov 04 , 2020. 3 hours ago – 07:00 KYODO NEWS

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of imposing restrictions again on business activities in response to a spike in novel coronavirus cases in the country.

Speaking on television following a Cabinet meeting, Khan said, “We have decided that we would not close our businesses and our industry.”

He made the remarks amid speculation that the government was considering re-imposing restrictions to help contain the spread of the virus.

Pakistan’s leading English-language newspaper Dawn had reported Tuesday that authorities were eyeing such a move.

The disease has spread rapidly over the past few weeks after the first wave was successfully controlled in August. The country on Monday reported 1,167 new cases, the highest daily figure since the last week of July.

Faisal Sultan, the prime minister’s special assistant on health, said at a press conference last week that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had begun in the country.

Pakistan imposed restrictions on businesses in March after the initial outbreak and later relaxed them in stages to support an already struggling economy. Restaurants and eateries reopened from Aug. 12, while schools resumed classes from mid-September.