NCOC allows reopening of schools

Islamabad – Rana Talha Akhtar:

The National Command and Operations Centre on Wednesday allowed the reopening of schools in districts with less than a 5% coronavirus positivity ratio.

The development came after Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar chaired a meeting and Lt General Hamood uz Zaman Khan co-chaired it. SAPM Health, Sindh health minister, and chief secretaries of all federating units attended the session via video link.

The meeting reviewed the prevalent situation of the coronavirus in the country. NCOC chief Asad Umar presided over the meeting while Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, provincial chief secretaries and other members of authorities took part in the meeting as well.

A detailed review of disease prevalence in the country was taken, a statement from the NCOC said.

Following the meeting, important decisions regarding restrictions were taken after extensive deliberations.

From May 24:

  • Outdoor restaurants will be opened daily till 11:59pm and takeaways will be allowed 24/7.
  • The tourism sector will be allowed to operate under strict COVID-19 protocols. Separate instructions on protocols is being issued to all federating units.

From June 1:

Several sectors will be allowed to reopen, but a review meeting will be held on May 27.

  • Outdoor marriage ceremonies with an upper limit of 150 Individuals will be allowed.
  • Staggered opening of educational institutions from June 7 — other than those opened from May 24.
  • Meanwhile, shrines, cinemas, indoor dining, indoor gyms, amusement parks, contact sports, festivals, cultural and other events, and indoor/outdoor gatherings will remain banned till further notice.
  • The interprovincial public transport will remain for two closed days — Saturday and Sunday — from May 22. However, walking/jogging tracks in parks would remain open with strict adherence to COVID-19 SOPs.

Moreover, the NCOC decided all SSC and HSSC exams will be held after June 20, while conducting professional and non-professional exams would take place on a case-to-case basis on recommendations from the Ministry of Education.