Govt announces closure of all educational institutions until April 5

By: News Desk
Published: 07:13 PM, 13 Mar, 2020
Govt announces closure of all educational institutions until April 5
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The government on Friday decided to close all educational institutions across the country until April 5 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Shafqat Mahmood, federal minister for education, professional training and national heritage, made this announcement in a tweet after attending a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on coronavirus outbreak and prevention on Friday evening.

He said the government would review the situation once again on March 27 and decide the future course of action.

Besides closure of educational institutions, including religious schools, the meeting recommended the government to declare a public health emergency in the country to deal with the situation in an effective way.

Pakistan so far has 21 confirmed coronavirus patients. Three of these patients have been released from hospitals after full recovery, while the rest are receiving treatment. However, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Mirza has said that condition of all virus patients in Pakistan is stable. He said the situation was under control and people should not panic about the virus.

It was decided at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday that Pakistan Day ceremonies on March 23 would be cancelled and all borders of the country would be closed for 15 days. A notification of closure of Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan was issued immediately after the meeting. All national institutions and the armed forces of Pakistan would work together to stop coronavirus spread in Pakistan, it was decided at the meeting.

Talking to a private news channel after the NSC meeting, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said chief ministers of all four provinces attended the extraordinary meeting. He said the situation was under control so far. He said that flights to international destinations would operate only from three cities -- Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

Services chiefs, director general of the ISPR and chief of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) were also present in the meeting.