Saturday Nov 21, 2020
Pakistan has recorded 42 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours - the highest since mid-July. This brings the country's death toll to 7,603.
The country also reported the highest single-day tally in four months as 2,843 people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number to 371,508.
So far 328,931 patients have recovered from the virus while the number of active cases stands at 34,974.
Over 17,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported across the country in the past week while more than 490 lives lost.
After a meeting on the coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced banning indoor weddings and large public gatherings in a televised address to the nation. The ban came into effect on Friday.
The premier had said that the government was also considering early and extended winter vacations. “If corona[virus] cases are [found] on the rise because of the schools, then the government may increase the duration of winter vacations," he maintained.
The development came on the back of the NCOC's recommendations to ban public gatherings exceeding 300 people, allowing outdoor dining and takeaway till 10:00pm, closing down cinemas, theatres and shrines and closing markets early with "safe days".
The NCOC had directed public and private companies to implement a 50% “work from home” policy.
Speaking to Geo.tv, Federal Minister for Planning and Development and National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) Chief Asad Umar said the body will be recommending cutting short the 2021 summer break to compensate for early and extended winter vacations this year.
"No sector comes close to the education sector in terms of the number of people attached to it. There are over 50 million students across Pakistan," he said. "Although children have the ability to fight the disease better, they are carriers [of the virus]."
"I think we should announce early and extended winter vacations to contain the second wave of infections," he continued. "The summer break can be curtailed to ensure that the number of school days does not change."
The final decision will be taken in the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers' Conference scheduled for Monday [November 23].