PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has further eased the lockdown in the province till Eidul Fitr under the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Special Assistant to KP Chief Minister on Information and Public Relations Ajmal Khan Wazir said on Wednesday that in the light of the Supreme Court’s orders, all retail shops that were closed from Friday to Sunday, will remain open until Eid and a formal notification in this regard has been issued.

Ajmal Wazir said in a press conference that the decision has been taken after the apex court issued an order regarding the matter. Furthermore, bakeries and home deliveries will be allowed to operate after 5:00pm. The special assistant said the government will lift more restrictions if standard operating procedures (SOPs) are followed.

However, Ajmal Wazir did not rule out the option of repeat of stricter lockdown if the SOPs were not followed in letter and spirit. He made it clear that strictness and relaxation in lockdown are announced keeping in view the greater public interest.

The special assistant said the district administration and police would implement SOPs across the province and action would be taken against violators. Mr Wazir said Eid was arriving and cooperation of people and traders was imperative to combat COVID-19.

Ajmal Wair said the KP government will also continue action against hoarders of daily-use commodities to ensure availability of essential goods to consumers during the end days of holy month of Ramazan and after Eid. He said complaint cells were established at Rescue 1122, Health, DC offices, and police departments to promptly address problems of people.

Mr Wazir appealed to the people to stay at home during Eid and avoid going to the homes of relatives to avoid the spread of coronavirus. He said people should show responsible behaviour for their own safety and safety of their loved ones. He said nothing could be said at this time about the complete elimination of the virus from the country and at present we will have to live with it. He said precautionary measures, particularly the social distancing, will have to be adopted to avoid the spread of the disease.