A meeting of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) is underway, under the chair of Asad Umar, to decide on schools closure and whether or not restrictions on other sectors should be extended or relaxed.
All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities have been closed till May 23 across the country.
Review of existing Non- Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) / restrictions on various sectors will be held tomorrow, 19th May, at NCOC
— NFRCC (@NFRCCofficial) May 18, 2021
NCOC chief Asad Umar is presiding over the meeting while Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, provincial chief secretaries and other members of authorities are taking part in the meeting as well.
The decisions will be taken on the basis of the briefings provided by the provincial chief secretaries.
The NCOC had earlier imposed a lockdown in the country during Eid holidays in order to stop the spread of the virus amid the deadly third wave.
Later, certain restrictions were eased following a review of the pandemic.
COVID-19 situation in Pakistan
Coronavirus has claimed 104 more lives across Pakistan over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 19,856.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 3,256 new COVID-19 infections were reported during the said period. Overall 886,184 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country so far.
With 4,440 recovering their health from the COVID-19, the overall number of recovered people stands at 799,951. The positivity ratio was recorded at 7.79 percent in the last 24 hours.
As many as 41,771 tests were conducted to diagnose coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The total number of tests currently stands at 12,552,339.
4,549 patients are said to be critical.
As many as 131,047 anti-COVID jabs were administered during the last 24 hours. The total number of fully vaccinated people is recorded at 964,227, while 1,966,837 have been partially vaccinated.
Cannot tolerate further extension of schools closure
The Pakistan Alliance of Private Schools also held a meeting today ahead of the NCOC’s review session. “NCOC should immediately announce reopening of educational institutions,” said the alliance’s chairman Akram Sheikh.
Sheikh said coronavirus cases across the country were reported in large numbers after markets and businesses were allowed to reopen, not schools.
“Educational institutions should be reopened, similar to other sectors, with strict compliance of coronavirus SOPs,” he said, adding that a further extension in the closure of educational institutions will result in “irreparable loss” for students.
Sheikh warned that if the ban was extended beyond May 23, countrywide protests will be held against the decision.