Pakistan school covid sanitise
A teacher and a worker sanitise hands and shoes of students wearing face mask to protect against coronavirus, upon their arrival at a school in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Schools in Sindh are holding classes on alternate days at 50 per cent attendance despite the Federal Education Minister’s announcement last week that schools across the country would return to normal regular weekly classes from March 1.

A day before the start of new month, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani at a press conference announced the schools in the province would be allowed to call 50 per cent of students at a time in line with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) laid down by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood had announced Thursday (Feb 25) that in view of the drop in cases of COVID-19 across the country, restrictions were being lifted and schools were allowed to hold regular classes.

While criticizing the decision, Saeed Ghani said on one hand, the federal minister for education was announcing that schools would be permitted to call 100pc of the students and on the other hand, he was also asking for the implementation of SOPs. It is not possible to call 100pc of the students together, said Ghani.

Total cases

Pakistan on Monday reported 1,094 recoveries in a period of twenty-four hours taking the overall recoveries from COVID-19 to 543,371.

The number of fatalities since the virus outbreak last year stands at 12,896—36 in the last twenty-four hours. Similarly, the country’s total cases surged to 581,365 with 1,392 new infections reported in the last one day.

According to the official portal of the National Health Ministry, 38,338 tests were conducted for novel coronavirus in the last twenty-four hours that showed 3.6 per cent positivity rate. The total number of COVID-19 tests so far stand at 8.990 million. The official portal further reveals 22,098 active cases in the country.

In view of the drop in the number of cases, the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) has already allowed a number of relaxations allowing businesses, offices and educational institutions to resume to normal life.

Pool matches

These concessions also include 50 per cent attendance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixture currently underway in the National Stadium of Karachi.

The NCOC last week had allowed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to increase the number of spectators but following all the SOPs for COVID-19.

Apart from 50 per cent during the regular pool matches, NCOC has allowed a full capacity crowd during the playoffs of the PSL.

“Spectators’ attendance in PSL pool matches was increased to 50 per cent whereas full attendance will be allowed for the playoffs with stringent COVID SOPs,” the NCOC said.