The licenses of 25 private education institutes in Karachi that were open on Monday — despite the Sindh government's order a day earlier to close in light of the coronavirus outbreak — have been suspended.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while presiding over a meeting of the Task Force on coronavirus in Karachi on Sunday, had ordered to keep all educational institutions, including tuition and coaching centres, across the province closed till March 13 — the deadline for completion of the isolation period of suspected patients of coronavirus.
The CM had said strict action would be taken against those educational institutions who defied the order, which was important in the times of an emergency.
A press release issued by the director general for private institutions of the provincial education and literacy department, Dr Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui, on Monday said that an inspection was carried out in parts of the city, including Korangi, Landhi, Gulshan-e-Hadid, Nazimabad and North Karachi, and around 25 schools were found to be open.
The press release added that the licenses of these private institutions were "immediately suspended".
Additionally, the chairman of the board of secondary education was also recommended to take action against the schools.
The press release stated that the heads of the educational institutions have been summoned to the office of the director general for private institutions, after which the relevant deputy commissioner will decide on the cancellation of their registration and the sealing of the institutions' premises.
Last week, shortly after Pakistan confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus, the Sindh government had decided to close educational institutions in the province for two days (Feb 27 and Feb 28).
On Sunday, the closure was extended till March 13.
Meanwhile, the Balochistan education department, which has ordered closure of government and private schools till March 15, also postponed ongoing secondary school examinations for an indefinite period.
So far, four cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Pakistan, including two in Sindh.