The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) said on Thursday that 22 educational institutions across the country were closed down during the last 48 hours for failing to comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for curbing the spread of Covid-19.
“During last 48 hours, 22 educational institutions across Pakistan have been closed due to non compliance of health SOPs/protocols and disease prevalence.”
According to the statement, 16 of these educational institutions were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in Islamabad and five in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
On Monday, a major medical college in the federal capital was sealed after 16 Covid-19 cases were reported among students and employees.
The Islamabad district health office in a letter had stated: “It has been observed with great concern that numerous cases of Covid-19 have been reported from Riphah Medical College, Islamabad, since September 9.
“Till date more than 16 cases have been reported. This trend is very alarming as this institute is becoming a super spreader and a hotspot for Covid-19. It is advised to immediately close down the campus and hostel premises and conduct thorough disinfection activities.
“Furthermore, Covid-19 testing of all the exposed staff/students must be performed and adherence to SOPs must be ensured. In view of above, it is requested that necessary action may please be taken,” the letter had said.
Educational institutions in the country reopened on Monday after a six month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the first phase, grades nine and ten, and colleges and universities are welcoming students. Secondary and primary classes will resume later this month.
A day before educational institutions reopened, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that it was “our priority and collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn”.
“We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on Covid-19,” he said in a tweet.
According to instructions issued by the NCOC, parents have been advised to ensure their children follow SOPs, which includes wearing face masks.
“Don’t send them to school with symptoms of cough and fever. Get them tested in case they exhibit severe Covid-19 symptoms and inform the educational institution if report comes back positive.
“Ensure social distancing among children and suggest them to use hand sanitisers. Moreover, transporters should also maintain social distancing in vehicles when taking them to schools,” the NCOC advised.