close
Friday April 12, 2024

Closure of schools: Govt may ban in-person learning for children below 12 amid COVID-19 surge

NCOC will announce restrictions soon, says Dr Nausheen Hamid; Indoor marriages may be banned as well

By Web Desk
January 18, 2022
Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus arrive at a primary school in this file photo. — AFP
Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus arrive at a primary school in this file photo. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The government may decide to close schools for children below 12 years of age as the country’s COVID-19 positivity ratio nears 10%, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid said Tuesday.

The statement from the health official came a day after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) deferred the decision on the closure of schools and announced to gather more data in this regard before taking any decision regarding educational institutes.

Speaking to Geo Pakistan today, Dr Nausheen Hamid rejected the perception that the government is not taking steps and waiting for the population to achieve herd immunity.

“No. This is not the case. The NCOC is monitoring the evolving situation vigilantly and a number of recommendations were presented during the Monday meeting,” she replied.

“Schools, where teachers and children above 12-years of age are vaccinated, may be allowed to continue, but a decision will be taken about children who are not vaccinated, ” Hamid said while responding to a question about schools.

The government has approved vaccination for children aged 12 and above, and a campaign is underway across the country to administer jabs in schools.

Our primary objective, she said, is to save the population from the virus, and for this, the government will adopt the best possible strategy. “Decisions will be taken to enforce a check and balance on large gatherings that are the main reason for the virus spread.”

She said that the NCOC would announce the policy in this regard in a couple of days.

“We don’t need to impose restrictions all over the country, and cities, where the positivity ratio is high, will face curbs.”

She agreed that the weddings are proving to be “super-spreaders” and the government may have to ban indoor ceremonies in cities with high positivity, and outdoor will be allowed with limited guests.