Pakistan Closes 22 Educational Institutes over non- conformity of Coronavirus SOPs

Pakistan Closes 22 Educational Institutes over non- conformity of Coronavirus SOPs

ISLAMABAD:  The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Thursday apprised that the authorities in different parts of the country have closed twenty-two (22) educational institutes in the last 48 hours for not fulfilling the Government-issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) despite the strict instructions issued by the Government.

As per the statement of NCOC “In the last 48 hours, 22 educational institutions across Pakistan have been shut down due to non- conformity of health SOPs/protocols and disease prevalence.

According to the breakdown, sixteen (16) educational institutions have been shut down in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one (1) in the Federal Capital, and five(5) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Before this week, the NCOC had apprised a “major educational institute” in the Federal Capital was sealed after a spike in Coronavirus cases was reported from it.

In accordance with the Statement, “A major educational institution sealed in Islamabad. Due to targeted testing, sixteen (16) cases were reported from the subject institution,” The NCOC had also communicated that contact tracing will be done to “ensure containment” of Coronavirus cases in the city.

Both closures came shortly after all educational institutions, including seminaries, reopened from Tuesday after a six (6)-month break amid concerns over the implementation of Coronavirus safety protocols and worries of a second wave of the virus.

The Government had decided to shut down schools, colleges, and universities in March to control the spread of Covid-19. However, Sindh had suspended educational activities in the province on February 27 after the detection of the first Coronavirus case in Karachi.

On September 7, 2020, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had proclaimed that all higher education institutions in the country will reopen in phases from September 15, 2020.

Furthermore, over 30,000 religious seminaries across the country also reopened in phases from Tuesday.

In accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Government, wearing of masks is obligatory for all teachers and students, whereas schools, colleges, and universities will make sure the existence of hand sanitizers at the entrance point.

The NCOC has also advised the parents and teachers to abide by the SOPs promulgated for the safety of students as well as the teachers and the other staff.

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