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Pakistan extends coronavirus lockdown, some industries to reopen in phases

FILE PHOTO: Police officers stand guard at a blocked road leading to Manga village after an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Marden, Pakistan March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Abdul Sattar

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced a two-week extension to the nationwide shutdown to curb the COVID-19 spread, but said some industries would reopen in phases.

The first industry to reopen would be construction, Khan said in a televised address to the nation.

“That lockdown, those restrictions on gatherings will continue for another two weeks,” Khan said.

Pakistan, which has already completed a three week lockdown, has reported 5,716 cases with 96 deaths.

The World Bank has warned that Pakistan is expected to fall into recession in fiscal 2020/21. Khan has sought debt relief from international lenders to combat the pandemic.

Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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