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Govt to mull over school closure as Covid cases rise

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

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, in a notification on Wednesday, announced that Mehmood will chair the 34th meeting of the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) at 11am to decide on schools’ closure and other matters.

The meeting will be held via video link.

In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported more than 3,000 coronavirus cases for the first time since September 12, 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.

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.

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