Pakistan said it will lift most of the country's remaining coronavirus restrictions after seeing a gradual drop in new cases during the past month.
Asad Umar, minister of planning, development, and special initiatives, said all restaurants, parks, theaters, cinemas, and public transport will be allowed to reopen beginning August 10. The government will also allow the reopening of indoor gyms and permit tournaments and matches involving noncontact sports.
"Pakistan's situation has improved significantly compared to other countries in the region," Umar, who heads the national task force to fight the coronavirus, told reporters in the capital Islamabad on August 6.
According to the government, Pakistan's daily deaths from COVID-19 peaked at about 150 in June, but the figure has steadily decreased and on August 6 only 21 new fatalities were reported.
Pakistan has confirmed more than 280,000 positive cases, and more than 6,000 deaths, though observers say that with only limited testing, the real number is likely much higher.
Umar said schools and universities will reopen on September 15.
He also warned the government could reimpose restrictions if social distancing and other measures are not followed, and cases rise.