ISLAMABAD: Following the alarming surge in number of Coronavirus cases in the educational institutions, an emergency meeting of Inter Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) has been summoned on November 16 to review the situation of the epidemic.An important meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) held with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Asad Umar in chair also reviewed the epidemic statistics and the spread of diseases in the education sector.The forum was briefed that the ratio of epidemic in educational institutions is increasing while the situation needs to be monitored.The forum decided that on November 16, Shafqat Mahmood will preside over a special meeting Inter Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) at the NCOC to review the general trend of epidemic outbreak across the country. The aim is to assess the rising COVID-19 cases in educational institutions across the country. Following the consultative meeting, the decisions and recommendations for implementation will be shared with the provinces.
The forum suggested announcing early and long winter holidays to reduce the spread of the epidemic in order to avoid harm to the academic year targets and in view of the growing trend of the virus as well as ensuring the health and safety of students. Earlier today, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) decided to immediately close cinemas, theaters and shrines in the wake of the second wave of Coronavirus while recommending banning public gathering of more than 500 persons. The meeting presided over by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Asad Umar remarked that immediate measures are required to save lives. COVID-19 cases have increased by almost three times, the minister said. Meanwhile, the Government of Punjab has recommended to keep marriage halls open across the province with strict implementation of updated coronavirus SOPs. The committee has recommended reducing function time to only two hours with food being provided in disposable boxes. Marriage halls will also display number of guests allowed in the hall after 50 percent reduction in the capacity while all the guests will be required to wear face masks. Mian Aslam Iqbal has summoned a meeting of organizations of businessmen where they will be asked to ensure mandatory wearing of face masks. Punjab will also present its recommendations in NCOC meeting, he said. On the other hand, Pakistan has reported 21 deaths in last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 348,184.
The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 7,021. According to the latest figures by the NCOC, 1,708 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours. Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Till now 151,352 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 107,831 in Punjab, 41,069 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 16,195 in Balochistan, 22,432 in Islamabad, 4,911 in Azad Kashmir and 4,394 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Furthermore 2,690 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Sindh, 2,429 in Punjab, 1,294 in KP, 154 in Balochistan, 247 in Islamabad, 93 in GB and 114 in Azad Kashmir. Pakistan has so far conducted 4,773,496 Coronavirus tests and 31,989 in last 24 hours. 320,065 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 1,109 patients are in critical condition. NNI