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Schools to stay open for now, decides NCOC

Updated 17 Jan, 2022
The National Command and Operation Centre decides to enhance the vaccination process across the country. File photo
The National Command and Operation Centre decides to enhance the vaccination process across the country. File photo

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has said educational institutions will not be closed, a decision that comes as the country witnesses an ongoing fifth wave of the coronavirus.

As per Aaj News, the meeting, however, decided to enhance the speed of vaccination across Pakistan.

On Saturday, the NCOC under the chairmanship of Asad Umar decided to call up the meeting of the provincial education and health ministers to take fresh measures of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with a special focus on the education sector, public gatherings, marriage ceremonies, indoor/ outdoor dining, and the transport sector.

The NCOC decided to extensively engage with the provinces, especially the Sindh government for necessary measures to tackle the rising disease. The meeting also decided to implement a complete ban on in-flight serving of meals/ snacks from January 17.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was asked to ensure in-flight mask-wearing and also implement SOPs at all the airports. Serving of meals and snacks in public transport will also be banned with effect from January 17.

Meanwhile, Pakistan reported another 4,340 Covid-19 cases on January 16, the highest since August 25 when it recorded 4,553 infections, as the country continued to witness the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The country's positivity ratio was recorded at 8.71% during the last 24 hours after 49,809 tests were conducted. So far, 1,328,487 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pakistan.

There are currently 35,982 active cases, while 781 cases are critical. During the last 24 hours, seven deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 29,019.

This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 17, 2022.