NCOC to review reopening of schools today

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STAFF REPORTER
Islamabad/ Lahore

Given the alarming surge in coronavirus cases across the country in the past week, the National Command and Operation Centre on Monday decided to revisit its “school opening modalities” in its next morning session.

The National Command and Operation Centre meeting was chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

The meeting discussed updates from the provinces on rising positivity and corresponding actions, vaccination progress, and national vaccine strategy.

The officials also considered deferring the opening up of cinemas, indoor weddings, and dine-in restaurants, which were expected to reopen from March 15. However, a decision on this has not been announced yet.

The forum directed the provincial administrations to ensure strict enforcement of NPIs at the grassroots level to contain the disease spread as slackness in adhering to safety guidelines would trigger another outbreak.

The meeting was attended by National Coordinator Lt Geb Hamood Uz Zaman Khan. Provincial representatives participated in the meeting through video link.

The Punjab School Education Department on Monday imposed a ban on curricular activities i.e. sports in seven districts seeing more than 20 coronavirus cases daily.

“No curricular activity (i.e. sports etc.) shall be conducted in those districts where Covid-19 positivity ratio is more than 20 cases i.e. Lahore, Gujrat, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad subject to resumption of normalcy of education activities,” read a notification issued by the department.

Education Minister Murad Raas shared a copy of the notification on his official Twitter handle.

The number of active cases in the country, which was around 17,000 last month, has now surpassed 18,000.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre, 22 more people succumbed to the deadly disease during the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 13,227.