Pakistan’s active coronavirus cases crossed 35,000 for the first time since October 15, 2021, when the country recorded 26,974 cases. As a result of the alarming situation, authorities decided to enhance the speed of vaccination across Pakistan.
Regarding this, National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) held a meeting with Federal Minister and NCOC head Asad Umar as Chairman. The special focus was on the education and transport sector.
The NCOC directed that cities reporting more than 10% positive cases will receive a new set of guidelines communicated through the provincial governments. NCOC also announced strict action against people violating SOPs.
In the account of the 5th wave of Covid, the complete ban on in-flight serving of meals/ snacks will begin from today. NCOC directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure in-flight mask-wearing and also implement SOPs at all the airports.
“Amid rising Omicron Covid 19 cases across the country, NCOC bans serving meals/snacks onboard domestic flights and public transport,” CAA announced.
Amid rising Omicron Covid 19 cases across the country, NCOC bans serving meals/snacks on board domestic flights and public transport effective 17 January. pic.twitter.com/eF1ADBoesX
— PCAAOfficial (@official_pcaa) January 15, 2022
Pakistan once again faces a surge in Covid cases. According to official data as many as 4,340 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours after 49,809 tests were taken.
Statistics 17 Jan 22:
Total Tests in Last 24 Hours: 49,809
Positive Cases: 4340
Positivity %: 8.71%
Patients on Critical Care: 781
— NFRCC (@NFRCCofficial) January 17, 2022
The active case count stood at 35,884. Meanwhile, seven deaths due to COVID-19 pushed the death toll to 29,019, the NCOC’s data showed.
Schools to remain open
Additionally, a meeting of the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) decided Monday against closing schools in light of rising cases of Covid-19.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood chaired the meeting via video link. The conference took stock of the current Covid-19 situation.
During the meeting, authorities decided to keep educational institutes open while directing schools to increase vaccinations. Important to note, Punjab health minister Yasmin Rashid noted that the provincial government does not favor the closure of schools.
“We don’t want the schools shut since education has already suffered enough,” Dr. Yasmin Rashid told the media. Dr. Yasmin Rashid also revealed that Punjab has vaccinated 80% of its students in schools and colleges. Similarly, Punjab Minister for Education Murad Raas earlier today stated that COVID-19 SOPs were being followed in schools.