India, Pakistan Partially Relax Lockdown for Some Small Businesses

India, Pakistan Partially Relax Lockdown for Some Small Businesses
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Pakistan and India has reportedly relaxed the coronavirus lockdown partially for small businesses to thrive.

The federal home ministry on Friday, said retail shops could start operations. The order laid emphasis on social distancing with face masks and hand gloves during work and also reducing the staff number reduced by 50%.

The sale of liquor and other non-essential items will continue to be prohibited, and no shops in large market places, multi-brand and single-brand malls will be allowed to open for business till May 3.

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India has reported 24,506 cases of the coronavirus and 775 deaths, with authorities setting up new teams to focus on compliance and implementation of lockdown measures.

In neighboring Pakistan, the government extended the nationwide lockdown till May 9. However, it is switching to a so-called “smart lockdown” from Saturday for targeted tracking and tracing of cases while allowing some industrial and commercial activities to begin under safety guidelines.

“Isolating these cases and their contacts will improve our ability to contain the disease alongside allowing the economy to function and people to get employment,” said Asad Umar, Pakistan’s planning minister, who also oversees the coronavirus national response body.

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“This upcoming month of Ramadan will be decisive,” he said, emphasizing that adhering to the government’s virus containment measures will enable the further re-starting of parts of the economy.

Prayer congregations for Ramadan have also been allowed in Pakistan with the exception of the southern province of Sindh, where doctors have warned the virus could spread rapidly.

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