PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minis­ter Mahmood Khan has said that in the light of the decisions taken in the last meeting of National Coordination Committee, it has been decided to keep open business activities, markets and shops in the province while the lock­down will remain in place only two days in a week -- Saturday and Sunday, however, this relaxation in lockdown is subject to strict implementation of SOPs and guidelines issued by the pro­vincial government.

He has further said that the provin­cial government is working on opening inter district public transport subject to implementation of SOPs for which the transporters are being engaged whereas SOPs are being developed to open tourism industry in the province as well.

While addressing a press conference here at the Chief Minister Secretari­at, Mahmood Khan said that the gov­ernment was striving on two fronts si­multaneously adding that they have to protect the people from both corona pandemic and starvation.

He made it clear that due to the dif­ficulties faced by people especial­ly the vulnerable segments of society, the government has decided to relax the lockdown, however, he stated that adoption of precautionary measures and implementation of SOPs has be­come even more important with the relaxation in lockdown.

“Implementation of SOPs will be strictly monitored by the local admin­istration, and in case of violation of SOPs, the business would be closed again,” he warned.

Mahmood Khan appealed to the pub­lic, traders, business communities, transporters and all other segments of society to strictly follow the SOPs and preventive measures against corona virus stating that adoption of precau­tionary measures are the only effective way to be safe from the pandemic.

Paying tribute to the services of doc­tors and other frontline health work­ers, the Chief Minister said that doc­tors and other health workers who lost their lives in the line of duties are the real heroes of the nation.

He also lauded the role of the work­ers of local government, police, district administration and media fighting the corona pandemic on frontlines.

About the government’s efforts to solve the issues of overseas Pakistanis, Mahmood Khan said that result orient­ed efforts were being made to resolve their issues.

“Direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Peshawar have been restored to fa­cilitate the early return of these over­seas to their homeland whereas spe­cial flights have also been arranged to bring the dead bodies of the overseas who lost their lives due to corona vi­rus in the gulf countries,” Mahmood Khan said.