Pak to reopen educational institutions in districts less than 5 per cent positivity ratio from next week

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Islamabad, May 19 (PTI) Pakistan authorities on Wednesday decided to allow educational institutions to reopen from next week in districts with less than 5 per cent coronavirus positivity ratio.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), country's chief anti-corona body, chaired by Minister for Planning Asad Umar and attended by health officials from all provinces.

After a detailed review of the pandemic situation, it was decided to allow schools to reopen from May 24 in districts with less than 5 per cent positivity, while educational institutions in the rest of the country will reopen from June 7, according to a statement by NCOC.

All matric and intermediate exams will be held from June 20, while all professional and non-professional exams will take place on a case-to-case basis as recommended by the Ministry of Education.

The meeting also decided that outdoor restaurants will reopen from May 24 on a daily basis and be allowed to operate till 11:59 pm but takeaways will be allowed 24/7.

Similarly, the tourism sector will be allowed to operate under strict COVID-19 protocols from next week and outdoor marriage ceremonies with an upper limit of 150 individuals will be allowed from June 1.

However, shrines, cinemas, indoor dining, indoor gyms, amusement parks, contact sports, festivals, cultural and other events, and indoor/outdoor gatherings will remain banned till further notice.

Pakistan imposed a lockdown in the country during the Eid holidays from May 10-16 but allowed businesses to reopen from May 17 with strict SoPs.

The total number of fatalities in Pakistan reached 19,856 after 104 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. A total of 41,771 tests were performed during the period, registering 3,256 new COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 7.8 per cent, according to the Ministry of National Health Services.

The total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 886,184. However, 799,951 people have recovered across the country.

Meanwhile, Minister Umar inaugurated a mass vaccination center in Islamabad with facilities to vaccinate 7,000 people per day.

Urging people to get registered for jabs, he said 46,00,000 people have been vaccinated so far and there have been no side effects of the vaccine in Pakistan. PTI SH RS RS

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