Pakistan school students mask
Students wear protective masks maintaining safe distance as they attend a class, after government allowed reopening of schools from grade six to eight amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Peshawar, Pakistan September 23, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Thursday announced that all educational institutions will start “normal classes” from October 11.

The decision was taken during an NCOC meeting on Thursday, and the forum agreed to reopen educational institutions across the country.

The educational institutions were earlier operating on 50 per cent capacity after they reopened following intermittent closures due to the prevalence of COVID-19.

According to Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiative, Asad Umar, who is also chairman of the NCOC, the decision was based on the reduced level of coronavirus spread and launch of the school vaccination programme.

COVID-19 toll jumps past 28,000

Pakistan’s toll due to COVID-19 virus has gone past 28,000 after 46 fatalities registered in the past 24 hours.

According to the NCOC, COVID-19 positivity rate remained below 3 per cent on Thursday as 1,453 people returned positive after 51,343 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan’s Sindh province is the most affected region in terms of caseload, 461,869 infections followed by the Punjab province, which has reported 434,647 infections.

Pakistan’s tally of infections has reached 1.255 million, the NCOC portal reports, however at the same time, the country’s recovery rate is also picking up fast with 1,840 individuals recovered in the last 24 hours, taking the overall recoveries to more than 1.182 million, the NCOC portal further states.

According to the Ministry of the National Health Services, there are 44,395 active cases of COVID-19 in the country.

NCOC to target ‘less-vaccinated’ districts

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 statement, the NCOC announced it would target the districts which are lagging behind others in terms of percentage of vaccinated population.