After surge in COVID-19 cases, Pakistan may extend closure of schools

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 21 (ANI): Following a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Pakistan government may extend the closure of schools and other educational institutions in the country.

As the country is currently witnessing the third wave of coronavirus, which the government sees as deadlier than the first two waves, the federal education officials warn if the situation gets out of control, schools will be closed for in-person learning for more time. They don't see the educational institutions reopen in near future, The News International reported.

The government has closed educational institutions in seven Punjab cities, Peshawar and Islamabad from March 15 to March 28 in light of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Some officials claim that as the fasting month is to begin before the middle of next month (April), there is a high likelihood of the government announcing the resumption of in-person learning after the post-Ramazan Eid festival.

The educational institutions were closed across the country twice last year due to the growing coronavirus cases. First, the in-person classes were suspended in late February 2020. They resumed in phases from September 15, 2020. Later, the second wave of coronavirus caused the closure of educational institutions from November 26, 2020, to January 18, 2021, The News International further reported.

A decision about the resumption of in-person classes will be taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the country's nerve centre on tackling the virus, after consulting federal and provincial educational authorities.

Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio has been on the rise and jumped from 8 per cent a day earlier to nearly 10 per cent.

The national death toll in the country increased to an overall 13,843, and 44 more deaths with 3,677 fresh infections recorded in the past 24 hours on Sunday.

This comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi tested positive for the virus. (ANI)