Normalcy returns to Capital Students to attend schools 5-day a week from today

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Zubair Qureshi

With considerable improvement in coronavirus situation, the Islamabad health authorities (district health department, NCOC) have given a go-ahead for complete resumption of classes and normal school hours, w.e.f. Monday (today).

Earlier, the schools were working with half number of students two days in a week.

Exactly, one month ago, on January 20, the Islamabad District Administration had issued a notification introducing Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs), a set of safety measures other than medicines for protection against Covid-19 in view of the positivity rate that had spiked to 15.37 per cent in the federal capital, the highest ever since pandemic broke.

Later, a series of measures were adopted including closure of school, regulating business hours and banning dine in service.

Among these interventions, all types of educational institutions for under-12 children remained open with 50pc attendance (staggered days) while classes for those over 12 years would continue with 100pc attendance for fully vaccinated students under strict protocols.

Vaccination for students above 12 years is mandatory (at least one dose), the notification said.

The notification was issued in compliance with the decision of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) under the Epidemic Diseases Control Act 1958.

However, the streak has dropped and according to District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia the weekly positivity has fallen from 16 percent to below 3 percent (2.58 percent to be exact) in the last three weeks.

In the last 24 hours, 4,610 tests were conducted out of which 62 returned positive. The positivity rate was 1.34 percent in the last twenty-four hours, the DHO further noted.

From Monday, February, Feb 21 all schools, colleges, businesses and officers would work normally and the restaurants have also been allowed to cater for the guests though they are required to maintain Standard Operating Procedures, health hygiene and can ask for vaccination proof of their guests.

Similarly, in schools too, the administration has been asked to ensure hand sanitizers, face masks and social distance in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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