Schools in nine Punjab cities to remain closed until April 11

By: News Desk      Published: 01:13 PM, 24 Mar, 2021
Schools in nine Punjab cities to remain closed until April 11

The National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) in a high-level meeting on Wednesday decided to keep all schools shut in nine districts of Punjab keeping in view the third wave of the coronavirus, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The schools in all these nine districts including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha and Sheikhupura will now reopen on April 12.

Announcing the NCOC decisions at a news conference in Islamabad, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said educational institutions in virus hotspots of Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will remain closed until April 11. “By educational institutions, we mean all colleges, academies, universities and madrassas,” he elaborated.

The decision has been taken because of the third wave of the coronavirus, Shafqat Mahmood said, adding “We have seen that the number of cases in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir has increased; however, the number of infections is relatively less in Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan.”

The minister said that the educational institutions, which were earlier closed due to the high positivity rate, would remain shut until April 11. He said the health of children is our priority and that is why we are very concerned about the worsening situation.

Regarding Cambridge exams, Shafqat said the government would hold a meeting with them to see whether examinations can be postponed or not.

In a separate statement on Monday, Shafqat said that he was not in favour of shutting down educational institutes but the NCOC believed that there’s a high risk of coronavirus in schools. “50 million children are linked with education and if someone got infected, the disease would spread," he said.

It is pertinent to note that schools, colleges and universities were allowed to resume regular classes from March 1 but the Sindh government did not follow suit saying the situation has not improved.

On March 10, the federal government had announced a two-week Spring Break in Islamabad, Peshawar and seven Punjab cities where the positivity was high and imposed restrictions to control the spread.

The health officials have warned that the UK variant, which has wreaked havoc in Punjab and the federal capital, spreads faster and is more deadly.

Reporter Junaid Riaz