Covid-19 situation to decide schools’ reopening: Shafqat

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood on Thursday announced that a meeting will be held on Friday to review the coronavirus situation in Pakistan.

In a statement on Twitter, he said that the situation has to be reviewed before students can start going back to school. In order to finalise a date for reopening of educational institutions across the country, Shafqat has summoned a meeting of the provincial health and education ministers on Friday.

The minister said: “While I desperately want education to continue, the final decision will be on health grounds. Students’ wellbeing will always be a priority.”

On January 4, Shafqat 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.

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The federal government had earlier announced a phase-wise plan to reopen educational institutes from January 18 which were closed on November 26 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Shafqat’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. 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.

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