03:51 GMT28 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed on several occasions that Pakistan cannot afford a sustained lockdown, as it may cause more deaths than the coronavirus. COVID-19 cases in Pakistan surpassed 41,000 on Monday; however, the recovery rate is high in the South Asian country.

    Despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the reopening of shopping malls across the country on Monday, saying that shopkeepers would "die of hunger rather than the coronavirus" if shops do not open.

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial’ also asked authorities to allow all shopkeepers to open their shops on the weekends as well.

    "Coronavirus does not go anywhere on Saturday and Sunday", he remarked, adding: "Has corona told you that it will not strike over or does it go away over the weekend?"

    The court has also ordered to stop the sealing of shops, which was underway in Sindh province for not following the Standard Operating Procedures laid out by the government.

    “The sealed markets should be opened and instead of intimidating them (shop owners) make them understand (the situation and SOPs)”, remarked the top judge.

    Earlier this month, the Imran Khan government liberalised the restriction order that was in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases in the country. Pakistan's Health Department says that country has 41,363 confirmed cases to date, with 896 deaths.

    Last week, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said: “From here on out till the end of the year, make up your mind that you will have to live with corona… We will have to live with it until we have a vaccine”.

    Pakistan has been reopening the economy in a phased manner since last Saturday.


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