Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that his government will be begin to lift the nationwide coronavirus lockdown starting on Saturday.

“We have decided to lift the lockdown from Saturday in phases,” Khan said, addressing the nation. “We are doing this because the people of our country are suffering economically.”

Khan also called on the nation to be responsible after the lockdown is lifted and to continue practicing social distancing.

Khan said that while Pakistan’s Covid-19 cases continue to rise, he “can’t say when Pakistan will reach its peak in numbers” and the people of his country cannot continue to suffer economically because of this. Khan stressed that Pakistan’s coronavirus death toll hasn’t been as high as predicted and that the healthcare system has not been “overwhelmed “ as previously feared.

“We haven’t reached the kind of peak that Europe has seen, much wealthier nations than us have fared worse than us,” Khan said.

The first phase of reopening will include outpatient departments in hospitals; factories manufacturing pipes, ceramic ware, electric cables, steel and aluminum; as well as shops selling those items. All shops in rural areas will also be reopened.

All reopened retailers will welcome customers from sunrise to 5 p.m. local time five days a week.

All educational institutions will continue to remain closed until at least July 15, and all major exams that are due to be held in the summer will be canceled. Travel by air and railway in the country remains suspended.