Islamabad: Following an alarming surge in the number of coronavirus cases in educational institutions, an emergency meeting of the Inter-Provincial Conference of Ministers of Education (IPEMC) was convened on November 16 to review the situation of the epidemic.
The important meeting with the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) chaired by the Minister of Federal Planning, Development and Special Planning Asad Umar also reviewed epidemiological statistics and the spread of diseases in the education sector.
The forum was informed that the proportion of epidemics in educational institutions is increasing and the situation needs to be monitored.
The forum decided that on November 16, Shafqat Mahmood will host a special meeting of the Inter-Provincial Conference of Ministers of Education (IPEMC) at NCOC to review the overall trend of the national epidemic. The goal is to assess the rising number of COVID-19 cases in educational institutions across the country.
After the consultation meeting, the decisions and recommendations for implementation will be shared with the provinces.
The forum recommends announcing early and long winter holidays to reduce the spread of epidemics, thereby avoiding damage to school year goals, and taking into account the growing trend of the virus and ensuring the health and safety of students.
Earlier today, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) decided to immediately close cinemas, theaters and shrines in the wake of the second wave of coronavirus while recommending to ban public gathering of more than 500 persons.
The meeting chaired by Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar (Asad Umar) pointed out that urgent measures must be taken to save lives. The minister said that the number of COVID-19 cases has nearly tripled.
At the same time, the Punjab government recommends strictly implementing the updated coronavirus standard operating procedures and keeping the wedding hall open throughout the province. The committee recommended reducing the functional time to only two hours and providing food in disposable boxes.
After the capacity is reduced by 50%, the marriage hall will also display the number of guests allowed to enter the hall, and all guests must wear masks.
Mian Aslam Iqbal has summoned a meeting of organizations of businessmen where they will be asked to ensure mandatory wearing of face masks. Punjab will also present its recommendations in NCOC meeting, he said.
On the other hand, Pakistan reported 21 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and the number of positive cases surged to 348,184. The cumulative number of deaths across the country jumped to 7,021.
According to the latest figures by the NCOC, 1,708 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours.
Sindh is still the province most affected by the pandemic, followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Till now 151,352 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 107,831 in Punjab, 41,069 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 16,195 in Balochistan, 22,432 in Islamabad, 4,911 in Azad Kashmir and 4,394 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Furthermore 2,690 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Sindh, 2,429 in Punjab, 1,294 in KP, 154 in Balochistan, 247 in Islamabad, 93 in GB and 114 in Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan has so far conducted 4,773,496 coronavirus tests and 31,989 in last 24 hours. 320,065 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 1,109 patients are in critical condition.