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pakistan
Friday Jan 15 2021
By ,
Web Desk

Reopening schools: Education ministers meet at NCOC to review coronavirus situation

By ,
Web Desk

  • Shafqat Mehmood says students' well being will always be a priority
  • The first phase of schools' reopening to start from Jan 18
  • The country reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases in nearly a month on Thursday


ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting is underway at the National Command and Operations Centre to review the decision to reopen educational institutions amid a second wave of coronavirus pandemic. 

The Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training said in a tweet that Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood will hold a press briefing after the moot today. 

Th meeting is being attended by federal and provincial education ministers as well as health ministers. "While I desperately want education to continue, the final decision will be on health grounds. Students' well being will always be a priority," he wrote on Thursday.

Read more: Punjab education minister assures parents of strict compliance of COVID-19 SOPs in schools

Earlier this month, the federal government announced a phase-wise plan to reopen educational institutes from January 18 which were closed on November 26 to contain the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Punjab government has assured the parents that it will ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 SOPs in schools.

On January 4, Mehmood had said that the government will make no compromise on children's health and another meeting will be held to review the latest coronavirus situation in the country.

Sudden spike in coronavirus cases

Shafqat Mehmood's remarks come as Pakistan battles a second wave of the coronavirus with cases constantly on the rise.

The country reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases in nearly a month on Thursday.

Data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) showed that 3,097 people tested positive for COVID-19 across the country on January 13, raising the national tally to 511,921.

Read more: Shafqat Mehmood surprised over students' negative reaction to schools reopening

The last time Pakistan's single-day tally crossed the 3,000 mark was on December 18 last year when NCOC reported 3,179 infections.

Find out more here: Pakistan records biggest jump in coronavirus cases in nearly a month

‘Schools will shut down if situation worsens’

Meanwhile, Punjab's Minister for Education Murad Raas, during a visit to a university in Lahore, said that the schools and other educational institutes in the province would be shut down immediately if the situation necessitates.

He said that when schools do reopen, they would operate on 50% student attendance.