Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the government has decided to ease the lockdown in the country considering the impacts it has on the economy.

He was speaking after the meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC), which is the apex coronavirus decision-making body and comprising top civil and military leaders including the provincial chief executives.

PM Imran said, “I was in favour of allowing public transport but the provinces did not agree to it. So, it has been decided that the provinces will make their own standard operating procedures (SOPs) and share with the Centre.” 

The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday, in a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, had proposed easing in lockdown restrictions after May 9.

The NCOC had also proposed the resumption of transportation services across the country.

The NCC meeting, chaired by the prime minister, will review the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the country and take a final decision about which sectors should be opened first as the number of patients surged past 24,000.

Earlier in the day, Punjab, Balochistan, and Sindh, in an inter-provincial education ministers conference, had opposed reopening educational institutions after June 1.

On Tuesday, the Federal Cabinet had approved a proposal about easing country-wide restrictions after May 9.

PM Imran had backed the proposal of easing restrictions in the country, keeping in view the hardships being faced by people due to the lockdown.

However, he warned of an abrupt spike in infections if the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were not implemented strictly after easing of the lockdown.