A student has her hands sanitised in the schoolyard in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province. File
Pakistan Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has denied "rumours" that the government has decided to close schools in view of rising coronavirus cases in the country.
In a tweet, he said the government will continue to monitor the situation "but at the moment no such decision has been made."
Earlier during the day, the Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas said that the schools in the province will remain open for now despite an increase in coronavirus cases.
The provincial government is keeping a close eye on coronavirus cases in the schools, Murad Raas said adding that random testing was being conducted and a slight increase in numbers has been observed.
The situation is being analysed on a daily basis and there is no plan to close schools as of right now, he tweeted and advised citizens to strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Meanwhile, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he confirmed on social media, vowing that while he was "down", he was "not out."
Coronavirus cases in Pakistan have been surging for the past few weeks. Over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in a day — its highest total since July 29, 2020.
Federal Minister of Planning Asad Umar expressed concerns on the rising positivity rate. He said that what happens next depends on how much people adapt to the coronavirus lifestyle and follow the SOPs.
"We are not careful like we aren't in the past few weeks, then we have India and Iran as examples of the havoc the virus can create," he had warned while speaking on Geo Pakistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved specific funding for the advance purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement released by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation on Thursday.
Federal officials said the government has decided to conduct exams of students only in grade V and VIII. They added that the director general of the federal directorate of education has sent a summary to the relevant authorities in this regard.
The NCOC late last month announced a new set of restrictions including a blanket ban on tourism and inter-provincial transport in an attempt to contain a further rise in already mounting coronavirus cases under the "Stay Home, Stay Safe” strategy.
"There is a rapid surge in the cases in some districts of Punjab, particularly Lahore, while the situation is the same in some area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu & Kashmir," Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said.
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