Pakistan decides to reopen primary schools from tomorrow despite campus coronavirus cases
Education minister says of 171,436 coronavirus tests carried out in educational institutions since September 15 only 1,248 were positive. Schools and colleges were closed in March when the government enforced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday unanimously decided to reopen primary schools from tomorrow, Wednesday, the education minister said, despite new coronavirus infections being detected at campuses around the country.
Schools and colleges were closed in March when the government enforced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. Authorities started lifting strict curbs in May and last month allowed almost all businesses and the tourism sector to reopen.
Earlier this month, the Pakistani government announced it would be allowing the “phased” reopening of all educational institutions from September 15, starting with universities.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said 171,436 coronavirus tests had been carried out in educational institutions since they reopened on September 15, of which only 1,248 came out positive.
“Keeping in view this data, it has been decided to resume primary level classes,” Mehmood told reporters, saying action would be taken against educational institutions that violated standard operating procedures.
He said the decision to resume primary-level classes was taken after consulting all federating units, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).
On Monday, a university and a college were sealed in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad after new coronavirus infections were reported on their campuses.