Educational institutions to remain open in Punjab: Murad Raas

LAHORE: Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas has said that Educational institutions will remain open in the province as they are following COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) strictly.

While talking to a private news channel, the education minister said, “Punjab is the only province which is strictly following COVID-19 SOPs”.

“The concerned officials are closely monitoring the situation because of which you are seeing very few cases of COVID-19 among schoolchildren and teachers,” he maintained.

He ruled out the possibility of visiting every single school in the province confirming that positive cases of the infection have been reported in 117 schools, out of which 16 have been sealed.

“We are carrying out random testing. When we find there is a single case, we suspend the classes, and if there are multiple cases reported on campus, we temporarily shut down those schools,” he said.

“Rumours again afloat regarding school closures. It is again clarified that educational institutions are not being closed,” he added.

The minister said that the government will continue to monitor the health of students, teachers and school staff but at the moment no such decision (about closing schools or educational institutions) has been made. He said that the government opened the schools after a lot of planning and hard work.

The number of coronavirus cases has spiked across the country amid the second wave of COVID-19 infections raising concerns of another lockdown.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 2,304 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 more deaths were recorded across the country during the last 24 hours.

The total number of cases since the infection emerged earlier this year has surpassed the grim 350,000 milestones.

The total count of infections stands at 352,296 while 1,219 patients are in critical condition. The death reached up to 7,092 in Pakistan whereas the number of active cases of COVID-19 reached up to 23,641.