Wednesday Jan 12, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training on Wednesday announced that a meeting of the provincial education ministers will be held tomorrow (Thursday) to debate whether the prevalent COVID-19 situation in the country warrants the closure of schools.
According to a notification issued in this regard, the 34th meeting of the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) is scheduled to be held at 11am on Thursday, chaired by Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, to deliberate on a number of issues.
Among these is a review of the prevalent COVID situation in the country with respect to educational institutes.
Other issues to be discussed during the meeting include:
It is pertinent to mention here that the meeting will be held through video conference.
On Tuesday, while briefing the media of the decisions taken by the federal cabinet in its weekly meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had said Pakistan would not undergo another lockdown and dismissed reports of the closure of schools despite rising coronavirus cases.
The information minister had said the federal cabinet was informed that the COVID-19 positivity ratio had doubled in the country.
"But despite this, it is our resolve that we absolutely not impose a lockdown in Pakistan. Our economy cannot bear the burden [of another lockdown]," he said.
However, a sharp rise in cases continues to be reported by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), with today's tally at 2,074 for cases in the last 24 hours. This is the highest caseload since September 24, 2021 — more than three months ago.
The national positivity ratio has now reached 4.70% and overall infections have jumped past 1.309 million.
Pakistan also registered 13 deaths in the last 24 hours, the highest since December 15, 2021, pushing the death toll to 28,987, NCOC figures showed.
The situation is particularly worrying in Karachi, where in the last 24 hours, the positivity ratio crossed 20%, with the Sindh Health Department mulling over a 14-day "special vaccination programme" in several cities of Sindh.