Islamabad – Pakistan on Monday lifted restrictions imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19, in spite of concerns from medics that infections may increase again in the country.
“Pakistan Medical Association is surprised over the decision to open all sectors at the same time,” said Qasier Sajjad, Secretary-General for the association of doctors.
The decision to end all restrictions and lockdown was taken recently after a substantial decline in number of infections.
Health ministry data showed that 539 new cases and 15 deaths were reported during the last 24 hours.
In total, the country has recorded 284,660 cases and confirmed 6,097 deaths.
So far, over 80 per cent of people infected with the disease have recovered.
All businesses and industries can operate normally, which means people can now go to cinemas, spas, beauty parlours and shrines.
However, educational institutions and wedding halls will remain closed till Sept. 15.
Face masks and social distancing are mandatory in public places.
After the announcement, people rushed to tourist spots with their families, some travelled back in search of lost jobs while others were seen roaming freely in areas which were under the lockdown.
Sajjad said that the government had taken the decision in haste and it was feared that infections may increase again putting pressure on the country’s fragile health care system.
According to the Pakistan Medical Association, no fewer than 101 doctors and 24 paramedics died from COVID-19.
Pakistan reported its first COVID-19 case on Feb. 26 and enforced a countrywide lockdown in March and started sealing off virus hotspots from May.