Staff Reporter Islamabad
Covid-19 vaccinations have been made mandatory for educational staff in order to ensure the safe continuation of the education sector, according to a press release issued by the National Command and Operation Centre on Saturday.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the NCOC chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and National Coordinator Lt-Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan also in attendance via video link.
The forum directed that inoculations for educational staff be completed by June 10, adding that walk-in vaccination had already been opened across the country for all teachers and school staff above 18.
The National Command and Operations Centre said Saturday the examinations for classes 10 and 12 will be held between June 23 to July 29.
The development came during an NCOC session with its head, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair. The body expressed satisfaction over the current coronavirus situation in the country.
The provinces can start preparation classes for classes 10 and 12 from May 31, but they should be conducted with coronavirus SOPs intact — on alternate days, said the forum.
The NCOC, making vaccination mandatory for teachers and other staff of educational institutions, said the inoculation should be completed by June 10, in a bid to curb the spread of the disease during examinations.
“We issued a NOC today to British Council allowing it to hold special O level exams from July 26 to August 6,” tweeted the minister.
Mehmood said that the move will “facilitate O level students to start A level or FA/Fsc from September” this year, so as not to waste a year.
“This kind of exam in July is unprecedented and I am happy that Cambridge is arranging it,” the federal minister wrote.
Among other decisions taken in the meeting today, travellers from the United Arab Emirates would be required to furnish PCR tests from authorised laboratories and airlines would be fined in case of any violations or accepting PCR results from unauthorised laboratories.
Passengers would be retested upon arrival and subjected to a strict mechanism of quarantine if found positive for Covid-19.
The NCOC also decided that from June 1, tourists above 50 years of age would not be allowed to stay in hotels in districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir without a vaccination certificate.
According to the latest data from the National Command and Operation Centre on its official web portal, at least 73 more succumbed to the coronavirus on Friday, taking the total death tally to 20,680.