ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Monday clarified that schools and educational institutions across Pakistan are not being closed despite a surge in coronavirus cases across the country.”Rumours again afloat regarding school closures. It is again clarified that educational institutions are not being closed,” he announced in a tweet.He stated that the government will continue to monitor the health of students, teachers and school staff “but at the moment no such decision (about closing schools or educational institutions) has been made”.
Mahmood’s tweet comes a day after Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas said that schools across the province are not being closed due to rising cases of the novel coronavirus.Earlier, Director of General Health Services Islamabad Dr Hassan Orooj said that the public is not following Covid-19 SOPs, adding that a second lockdown now seems “inevitable”. Pakistan imposed a countrywide lockdown on March 24, but began easing it 21 days later, even as Covid-19 cases were surging in the country. The deadly virus reached its peak in mid-June, when over 6,000 infections were recorded in a day with over 100 deaths.The country nonetheless saw a sharp decrease in COVID-19 cases in August, with as few as 213 new cases reported on August 30. Following this, the government decided to allow educational institutes to reopen from mid-September. By October, infections were on the rise again. TLTP