Pak to take final decisions on reopening schools

Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments will on Monday take a final decision on the reopening of about 300,000 educational institutions across the country which have remained shut since the last six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Though it is correct that over 6,000 active cases of the Covid-19 have been left in the country, the biggest challenge, which can trigger spike of virus, is just ahead as we are going to open educational institutions in 10 days,” federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said told Dawn news on Sunday.

He said the government took every high risk event, such as Eid-ul-Adha and Muharram, as a challenge and tried to ensure implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent Covid-19 spread.

“There are 50 million students, two million teachers and 300,000 educational institutions in the country. So we need to be extra vigilant to ensure implementation of SOPs.

“Representatives of the federal and the provincial government will sit together on Monday to decide about the course of action for reopening of schools,” Umar added.

Meanwhile, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday announced that total active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan had dropped to 6,269.

It claimed that only 85 ventilators, out of 1,912 allocated for Covid-19 patients, were in use and there was no patient on ventilator in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.

The NCOC claimed that so far 2.7 million tests had been conducted across the country.

As of Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan stood at 298,803, while the deaths have increased to 6,345.