The Pakistan Railways had completely suspended its passenger train services in March after advent of coronavirus pandemic in the country. The services were partially resumed in May ahead of Eidul Fitr but trains were running at 60% of the capacity to ensure social distancing norm.
However, all passenger trains will operate at their full capacity from today (Sunday). According to a notification issued by the Pakistan Railways’ chief executive officer (CEO) on Saturday, trains will offer 100% of their seats for booking from August 9.
The decision is in line with the federal government’s policy to revive all sectors of economy in the wake of decline in coronavirus infections and fatalities.
The government on August 6 announced to allow reopening of restaurants, hotels, cinemas, beauty parlours, gyms and other businesses in the hospitality and recreational sectors by the end of this week – almost five months after they were closed to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Restrictions on the tourism sector, which includes hotels, were to be lifted as early as August 8 (Saturday). Restaurants, cinemas and other businesses as well as shrines and expo centres were allowed to reopen from August 10. The ban on pillion riding and public transport had also been lifted.
These sectors were on the government’s negative list – meaning they posed a greater risk of spreading the infection. Wedding halls and educational institutions will be allowed to operate from September 15.
The decision to reopen these sectors was made during a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Covid-19 chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by representatives from all the provinces.