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pakistan
Thursday Nov 05 2020
By
Web Desk

KP mulls early winter vacation in schools as coronavirus cases spike

By
Web Desk
A meeting of education ministers is also scheduled to be held today to decide the future course of action.

PESHAWAR: In order to contain the spread of the second wave of coronavirus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government is considering to announce early winter vacations in schools, The News reported Thursday.

The option was discussed at the meeting of the provincial task force on COVID-19, which was chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

Provincial Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Special Assistant to CM on Information and Higher Education, Kamran Bangash, Corps Commander Peshawar-Lt Gen Noman Mahmood, Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz, Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi and other relevant officials attended the meeting, said a handout.

Read more: Education ministers to decide about school closure, winter vacations on Nov 5

The participants reviewed the latest situation of the second wave of coronavirus across the province, arrangements and preparations made by the relevant departments to contain the possible outbreak of the virus, the existing capacity of hospitals to deal with any emergency situation and other relevant matters.

Briefing the meeting about the latest situation of coronavirus, it was told that the second wave of coronavirus had started in the province.

It was added that a rising number of the positive coronavirus cases were being reported in Upper and Lower Chitral districts and parts of Hazara division.

The participants were told that new cases were being reported from various educational institutions of the province.

After discussing announcing early winter vacations in education institutions, especially in winter zones to contain the possible spread of the virus, the forum directed the Education Department to work out the matter and come up with feasible proposals for any decision to this effect.

Read more: Pakistan cannot afford another lockdown, says PM Imran Khan

The forum directed the secretary Health to immediately visit the Chitral districts and take necessary steps on war-footings for the capacity building of public sector hospitals there and increase testing capacity to effectively deal with any emergency.

In the light of the decisions of the National Command and Operation Centre, the participants decided to ensure strict implementation of wearing facemasks in public places, closure of amusement parks at 6:00 pm and closure of wedding halls, restaurants, and markets at 10:00 pm.

The Health Department was directed to identify hotspots across the province and communicate the same to the district administrations for implementing a smart lockdown strategy to contain the pandemic.

Read more:  Pakistan's COVID-19 positivity nears 5%

The health officials were also directed to take necessary steps to ensure the availability of testing kits and personal protective equipment in all the hospitals.

Briefing the forum about the latest situation of corona cases in the province, it was informed that the number of active cases across the province was 804, whereas district with the number of active cases per million populations include Upper Chitral, Lower Chitral, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Peshawar.

About the testing capacity, it was told that at present the overall capacity was 4,000 tests per day, which can be increased if and when required.

The chief minister directed the quarters concerned to focus special attention on the areas and pockets where coronavirus cases were on the rise.