ISLAMABAD / KARACHI: As the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients has increased by almost three folds in the past 45 days, the Sindh government has decided that educational institutes in the province will remain closed till their staff is vaccinated.
Meanwhile, a consignment of two million doses of vaccine reached Pakistan from China on Sunday.
While 3,842 were infected with coronavirus and 75 others lost their lives in a single day, national positivity rate remained at 7.1 per cent.
According to data of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), out of 75 deaths, 70 patients died in hospitals and five at homes or outside health facilities. Out of the 70 people who died in hospitals, 28 were on ventilators.
Most number of deaths i.e 24 was reported from Sindh, followed by Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 22 deaths each were reported.
Sindh Minister for Education, Syed Sardar Ali is likely to meet principals/administrators of private schools on Monday (today) as schools were closed for an indefinite period till vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff, according to officials and a notification.
“The education minister will meet with the representatives of private schools’ associations on Monday,” said a government spokesperson.
The representative body of the private schools had earlier announced that they would reopen schools on Monday.
“All public and private educational institutions shall remain close till further orders,” said an order issued by director general of private institutions, education department, Dr Mansoob Husain Siddiqui.
In a letter to the principals/administrators of private schools, the DG directed them “to complete necessary arrangements for full implementation of Covid-19 SOPs before re-opening of schools.”
He warned that “if any privately managed school is reopened for the students/teaching process in violation of above directives, action will be initiated against the school as per the Sindh Private Educational Institutions Ordinance 2001, Act-2003 and Rules-2005, which may lead to suspension/cancellation of school registration”.
The letter said that the order had been issued in accordance with the notification issued by the School Education and Literacy Department, on Aug 21.
Meanwhile, the NCOC data showed that over 50pc ventilators allocated for Covid-19 patients were occupied in Multan and Bahawalpur. More than 50pc oxygenated beds allocated for Covid-19 patients were in use in Swat, Abbottabad, Swabi and Peshawar.
A total of 1,123,812 cases have been detected so far from across the country out of which 1,009,555 patients have recovered and 24,923 could not survive. While number of active cases was 89,334 as of August 22, as many as 5,776 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country.
The number of hospitalised patients decreased to 2,000 in June but with the increase in the number of cases, the number of hospitalised patients has risen by almost three folds in 45 days.
Meanwhile, two million doses of Sinovac vaccine arrived from China to Pakistan on Sunday. The vaccine was procured by the federal government and will be dispatched across the country in a few days.
Coronavirus was detected in China in December 2019 and then started spreading in other countries. Pakistan had closed its borders and took a number of steps to stop transmission of the virus due to which first case of Covid-19 was reported in the country in last week of February 2020.
On March 13, first meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), composed of top civil and military leadership, was held to discuss the crisis which was later declared pandemic by World Health Organization. Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the NSC meeting and directed the authorities concerned to devise a comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of the disease.
Lockdown was imposed in the country on March 16, 2020 and a number of industries, including construction industry, educational institutions, restaurants, marriage halls, etc were closed.
Since then four waves of the Covid-19 have been observed but end of the pandemic cannot be predicted by health experts and scientists.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021