MUZAFFARABAD: In view of an alarming surge in the Covid-19 cases in Muzaffarabad, the district health officer (DHO) has urged the district administration to extend summer vacations until at least two weeks in all educational institutions which were otherwise scheduled to open on Wednesday.

According to an official letter sent by DHO Dr Saeed Awan to the deputy commissioner on Tuesday, the positivity ratio in Muzaffarabad was 22pc over the last 24 hours and 19.2pc over a week “which suggested that the situation had attained a dangerous level in the district.”

Separately, in its daily statistical report, the AJK health department said 392 out of the 1,567 suspected cases had turned out to be Covid-19 positive in the state over the last 24 hours.

Of these positive cases, 88 belonged to district Kotli, 18 to Mirpur, 38 to Muzaffarabad, 52 to Jhelum valley, 125 to Poonch, 41 to Bagh, 19 to Haveli and 11 to district Sudhnoti.

Four people, two of them from Poonch and one each from Muzaffarabad and Sudhnoti, died of the disease over the last 24 hours, it added.

The report said there were 4,594 active cases and 4,519 of them were under home isolation and the remaining being treated in different hospitals.

The DHO Muzaffarabad said since only teachers had been vaccinated and the vaccination of students had not been initiated, he feared opening of educational institutions could pose a serious threat to the precious human lives.

He suggested that as long as there were no signs of abatement in the fourth wave of Covid-19, the educational institutions should be kept closed for at least two weeks.

However, when contacted by Dawn, Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed Kiani ruled out further extension in vacations and said the schools would open as per schedule because almost all teachers had been vaccinated.

“We can consider the closure of only those institutions where the staff has not got itself vaccinated,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2021

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