Islamabad, Sep 17 (PTI) At least 22 educational institutions in Pakistan have been closed down during the last 48 hours for failing to comply with the government-issued standard operating procedures for curbing the spread of COVID-19, the country's coronavirus control body said on Thursday.
In a statement, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) said that action was taken after random checks.
'During the last 48 hours, 22 educational institutions across Pakistan have been closed due to non compliance of health SOPs/protocols and disease prevalence,” it said.
Sixteen of these institutions were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in Islamabad and five in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Dawn newspaper reported that the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi suspended academic activities at both its campuses for two days.
Speaking to the paper, IBA Head of Marketing and Communications Haris Tohid refuted media reports that the varsity had shut down campuses after two students had tested positive for the virus.
'Campuses have not been shut down, only academic activity has been suspended,' he said.
When asked about the number of COVID-19 cases reported at the varsity, the official declined to comment.
'Right now, we only suspect a certain number of cases. Giving any type of number at this point would be irresponsible.
'If the actual number is higher than the number we give, we will be misleading the public. But if the actual number is lower, then we will be creating panic.' He said that the varsity had been conducting COVID-19 tests in collaboration with the District Health Office since September 14.
The paper reported that three colleges were closed down in Hyderabad in Sindh province on Thursday after several COVID-19 cases were reported among teaching and non-teaching staff.
Earlier in the week, a major medical college in Islamabad was sealed after 16 COVID-19 cases were reported among students and employees, according to the paper.
Educational institutions in the country reopened on Monday after a six month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A day before educational institutions reopened, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that it was 'our priority and collective responsibility to ensure that every child can go to school safely to learn'.
'We have worked to ensure that school operations are aligned with public health safety rules on COVID-19,' he said in a tweet.
According to instructions issued by the NCOC, parents have been advised to ensure their children follow SOPs, which includes wearing face masks.
Pakistan has so far recorded 3,03,941 cases of coronavirus. PTI SH ZH ZH ZH