ISLAMABAD: All the education ministers will meet today at the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) to review the coronavirus situation in the country and school opening modalities, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said on Wednesday.
The education minister said that there is a noticeable surge in coronavirus cases across Pakistan, however, the situation is not the same as it was in November-December.
“The rate of cases has spiked within a week,” he noted.
The meeting, attended by all the provincial education ministers, will decide the next course of action.
Last month, the federal minister had announced that all the educational institutes would resume regular 5-day classes from March 1.
He had said that the announcement applies to every educational institution in the designated cities where restrictions had been imposed.
The COVID-19 positivity rate has spiked significantly in the first week of March ringing alarm bells at the NCOC which announced on Monday to review the decision of easing further restrictions.
The NCOC meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, had discussed updates from the provinces on rising positivity and corresponding actions, vaccination progress, and national vaccine strategy.
The officials also considered deferring the opening up of cinemas, indoor weddings, and dine-in restaurants, which were expected to reopen from March 15. However, a decision on this has not been announced yet.
The meeting had also reviewed the rising positivity trend prevailing across the country and expressed its concerns over public complacency in following non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs or alternate measures to treat the disease other than medical treatment).
The forum directed the provincial administrations to ensure strict enforcement of NPIs at the grassroots level to contain the disease spread as slackness in adhering to safety guidelines would trigger another outbreak.