pakistan
Thursday Jan 13 2022
By

Education ministers' meet-up to decide fate of schools amid Omicron surge put off for later

Students wear protective masks maintaining safe distance as they attend a class as schools reopen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Peshawar, Pakistan September 15, 2020. — Reuters/File
Students wear protective masks maintaining safe distance as they attend a class as schools reopen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Peshawar, Pakistan September 15, 2020. — Reuters/File 

  • Education ministers' meeting to decide schools' closure postponed as Pakistan battles fifth COVID-19 wave
  • Shafqat Mehmood was to chair education ministers' meeting at 11am. 
  • Pakistan posts four-month high daily coronavirus cases.


ISLAMABAD: The meeting of education ministers from across Pakistan scheduled for today to decide on whether schools should stay open or not amid a surge in Omicron cases has been put off for later, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training said Thursday.

The ministry's notification was circulated shortly before the scheduled start of 11am of the education ministers' meeting.

Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood and education ministers of other provinces had to decide whether the current coronavirus situation warrants the closure of schools or not, as the country continues its battle to contain the spread of Omicron.

The education ministry, in a notification, said the 34th meeting of the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) will be held next week. No reason was mentioned for the postponement.

In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported more than 3,000 coronavirus cases for the first time since September 15, 2021, the National Command and Operations Centre's (NCOC) data showed Thursday morning.

The NCOC data showed that the country registered 3,019 more cases in the last 24 hours, taking the overall infections' tally to 1.31 million. The positivity ratio has reached 6.12% — the highest in more than four months, as the infection rate was last above it on September 8, 2021.

No closure

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had on Tuesday said Pakistan would not undergo another lockdown and dismissed reports of schools' closure amid rising coronavirus cases.

The information minister, addressing a post-cabinet press conference, 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.