NCOC allows normal classes from next week

Published October 8, 2021
A staff member helps school children sanitise their hands before entering the premises of a school in Karachi. — AFP/File
A staff member helps school children sanitise their hands before entering the premises of a school in Karachi. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: As the coronavirus positivity rate has declined to 2.8 per cent across the country, the Nat­ional Command and Opera­tions Centre (NCOC) on Thu­r­sday decided to open the doors of educational ins­ti­tutions for normal classes from Oct 11.

A meeting of the NCOC decided to reopen the educational institutions based on the reduced level of Covid-19 spread and the launch of vaccination programme in schools, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said in a tweet.

“Based on the reduced level of disease spread and the launch of the school vaccination program, it has been decided in today’s NCOC meeting to allow all educational institutions to start normal classes from Monday the October 11,” tweeted Mr Umar, who heads the NCOC.

It may be mentioned that the educational institutions were earlier operating on a 50 per cent capacity across the country after they had reopened following intermittent closures due to the fourth wave of Covid-19.

According to data shared by the NCOC, 46 people lost their lives across the country due to coronavirus over the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 28,032. With 1,453 new cases, the number of total infections now stood at 1,255,321.

Moreover, 51,343 tests were conducted throughout the country during the last 24 hours, whereas the positivity ratio stood at 2.82pc.

With 1,840 patients recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours, total recoveries stood at 1,182,894. The number of patients in critical care was 2,934.

The NCOC asked the provinces to speed up the vaccination drive to further stop the spread of the disease.

The NCOC has devised a comprehensive plan with the collaboration of the National Database and Registration Authority and district administrations to target tehsils which were lagging behind others in terms of vaccination.

In a tweet, Asad Umar also criticised the UK government for its decision not to accept Chinese vaccine against Covid-19. “UK decides gora (western) certificates and vaccines are ok but most non gora vaccine certificates and Chinese vaccines are not. This despite widespread evidence of fake certificates in US & Europe. Chinese vaccines are WHO approved. Health considerations or hangover of a colonial mindset?”

Though the United Kingdom had taken Pakistan off the travel restrictions last month, it did not accept Chinese vaccines. Pakistanis travelling to the UK had to spend 10 days in isolation there even though they got both doses of Chinese vaccination.

Pakistan has administered more than 87 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, with 31m second doses and 62m first doses, according to the NCOC data.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2021

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