Punjab govt decides to reopen schools from June 7

LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to reopen educational intuitions from June 7 under strict COVID protocols.

Punjab School Education Minister Murad Raas addressing a press conference after inaugurating the first dedicated ‘Vaccination Centre for Teachers’ at the Government Pilot Higher Secondary School announced schools in the province would be reopened from June 7.

The provincial education minister said the vaccination centre would inoculate the teaching and non-teaching staff of both public and private schools, adding that there were 16,000 teachers and 4,000 non-teaching staff in Lahore.

He urged teachers of public and private schools and non-teaching staff to get vaccinated before June 7. The provincial government would open similar vaccination centres in the nine divisional headquarters in order to inoculate the maximum number of teachers, the minister added.

The teachers would be required to bring their CNIC and job certificate in order to get vaccinated at the dedicated centre, he urged. Raas said teachers would also be prioritized at any vaccination centre for the public if they went there with their documents.

The minister said with four counters, the Wahdat Road facility has the capacity to inoculate 1,500 people daily. On the occasion, Health Minister Rashid said 3.5 million people had been vaccinated in Punjab so far since the drive started nearly two months ago.

The government was striving to vaccinate both teachers and non-teaching staff because it did not want the schools to be shut again because of teachers contracting the disease, she said.

Rashid reminded the people that the first vaccine dose did not guarantee the production of antibodies, urging them to follow all health precautions until after getting their second dose. She said a person could get Covid-19 even after getting vaccinated, but the jab would reduce the severity of the disease and prove to be potentially life-saving.

The minister urged the public to wait patiently and maintain discipline at the vaccination centres, reassuring them enough vaccine was available. Pakistan continues to witness a marked reduction in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths on Friday, while there had been a decline in the positivity rate.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Pakistan reported 2,482 cases and 62 deaths in the previous 24-hour period. The national tally of coronavirus cases has reached 913,784 while the death toll stands at 20,607.

There were 51,625 tests conducted in the past day, while the positivity ratio has dropped to 4.80%, making it the fourth consecutive day since the ratio remains below 5 per cent.

There are 58,611 active cases in the country while 4,132 remain in critical condition. Overall 834,566 people have recovered from the virus, including 2,822 in the past day.

Punjab still remains the most affected region and has recorded 337,775 cases and 9,925 deaths, while the number of active cases in the province has reduced to 20,134. Islamabad has recorded 80,927 cases and 753 deaths while there are 6,431 active cases in the federal capital.