Over 35 Pak educational institutions shut for flouting SOPs

Islamabad : Within 72 hours of Pakistan reopening educational institutions accross the country after six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 35 of them were asked to shut for flouting health guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid down by the government to prevent the virus’ spread.

In a statement on Friday, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) revealed that in the past 24 hours, at least “10 educational institutions were shut down in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province while three were closed in Sindh for non-compliance of health guidelines and protocols and disease prevalence”.

A day earlier, 22 institutions — 16 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in Islamabad, five in Pakistan occupied Kashmir — were closed, according to the NCOC.

Other than the mentioned numbers, there were many other schools, colleges and universities, which has stopped their academic activities as positive cases of novel coronavirus were reported from their campuses also.

A great debate was underway on if the federal government’s decision to reopen educational institutions was the right approach, as many parents, students, teaching staff and the provincial authorities had urged to review its decision as the threat of the virus was still prevalent.

Educational institutes in the country reopened on Tuesday, after a gap of at least six months due to the pandemic.

On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that “it was our priority and collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safety to learn”.

“We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on Covid-19”, he added.

But with cases being reported from various educational institutions, the government has decided to stop operation of places, which do not follow the guidelines.

At the moment, coronavirus cases in Pakistan are on a slow but gradual increase with at least 700 new infections being reported for the first time in a month on Friday.

As per statistics, there are at least 304,386 cases, with 291,638 recoveries and 6,408 deaths. (IANS)

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