The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday issued fresh non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for after reviewing the trend of coronavirus in the country.
The forum, which leads the country’s pandemic response, has imposed several restrictions on cities with a positivity ratio higher than 10%.
The NCOC has decided that in schools and other educational institutions in cities and districts with an infection rate higher than 10%, classes for students under 12 years will continue in a “staggered” manner.
For fully-vaccinated students above 12 years, classes will be conducted daily.
In the new SOPs, the NCOC said federating units, in consultations with health authorities, will set a number of cases or infection rate as a benchmark, through which they will decide on the closure of schools.
With effect from February 1, at least one dose for students above 12 years will be mandatory across Pakistan and no exemption other than medical reasons will be entertained, the NCOC guidelines stated.
“Aggressive sentinel testing in educational institutions will be carried out for targeted closures in high disease prevalence education institutes,” the NCOC said.
The announcement comes as active coronavirus cases in Pakistan shot up from 39,881 to 44,717 in the last 24 hours, the highest since October 6, according to official figures released Wednesday morning.
The country registered a positivity ratio at 9.48% as 5,472 new cases were detected after 57,669 tests were conducted, the NCOC said.
Eight new deaths pushed the death toll to 29,037, while new infections have taken the caseload to 1.34 million, the NCOC’s data showed.