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Sindh Minister Announces Normal Classes In Schools To Begin On Monday

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Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said all classes — pre-primary, primary, and middle — will resume in the province on Sept 28 in strict compliance with the anti-Covid standard operating procedure (SOPs).

Addressing a press conference on Friday, the provincial minister the people misunderstood his earlier announcement wherein he had announced to postpone the second phase of the reopening of schools for a week.

“Universities would also be reopening for their fall semesters and there would be 100 per cent educational activities in Sindh,” he said as reported by Dawn.

The minister warned that the educational institutions that failed to follow the SOPs would be shut down. “Parents, too, should keep a watchful eye on their school-going children to make sure that they were wearing masks, observing distance, washing their hands, and using sanitisers.”

The government sealed two educational institutions over non-compliance of SOPs and the emergence of Covid cases. “At one place there emerged a Covid-19 case and at another place, classes for small children were being held and that, too, without following the SOPs,” he said.

The minister warned that if any negligence was found, there would be strict action, including heavy fines, suspension of the school’s registration, and registration of FIR for flouting the prescribed code of conduct.

22 educational institutions sealed off in 48 hours:

Authorities shut down at least 22 educational institutions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and Azad Kashmir in the past 48 hours over their failure to comply with anti-coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

“During the last 48 hours, 22 educational institutions across Pakistan have been closed due to non-compliance of health SOPs/protocols and disease prevalence,” said a statement by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) issued on Wednesday.

According to the statement, 16 of these educational institutions were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in Islamabad, and five in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier in the week, a major medical college in the federal capital was sealed after 16 Covid-19 cases were reported among students and employees.

‘School reopen’

Millions of students in Pakistan returned to classes on Tuesday after a break of six months, as schools and colleges began to reopen for the first time since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Educational institutes were closed in March as the coronavirus began to spread in Pakistan, but, with daily infection numbers falling, the government last week announced a staggered resumption of classes.

“May God make us successful in this test, and may the loss suffered by the students be compensated,” Minister of Education Shafqat Mahmood told reporters in Islamabad.

Senior schools were the first to restart, with middle school set to go back next week and primary school the week after. The long closure led to the cancellations of exams and left academic calendars in disarray.

Hotels shut down in northern areas:

All hotels and tourist hotspots have been sealed in Shogran, Naran, Kaghan by the district administration for an unspecified time after Covid-19 cases were reported among staff working at five different hotels.

Dawn quoted Mansehra Additional Deputy Commissioner Maqbool Hussain saying that these hotels reported at least 47 infections. According to the official, 48 hotels, including 22 main businesses and their respective branches, had been sealed at all three tourist spots.

The infected patients have been quarantined at the hotels by the local health department, whereas the officials concerned have launched a trace and test campaign to locate potential Covid patients.

Only 11% Pakistanis have Covid antibodies

At least 11 per cent Pakistanis have developed antibodies against coronavirus, according to a study that was conducted in 25 cities of the country.

This was revealed in the ‘National Seroprevalence Study’ that was started in July this year by the Health Services Academy in collaboration with multiple partners, including Aga Khan University, and with technical support from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The seropositivity was more in urban areas compared to rural areas; similarly those who had contact with Covid-19 positive person were more likely to have antibodies in their blood,” the study quoted by Dawn stated.

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