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June 15, 2021

Students of grades VI to VIII in Sindh return to school today

The provincial task force on Covid-19 has allowed resuming classes of grades VI to VIII with 50 per cent attendance starting Tuesday (today). They also stressed that in accordance with the directives of the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC), no business activity will be allowed on Sundays.

“If the Covid-19 situation improves further and the percentage of the cases continues to drop, primary schools can also be reopened on June 21,” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said during the weekly meeting of the task force at the CM House on Monday.

The meeting was told that the overall coronavirus detection ratio in the province has come down to 4.5 per cent. According to the weekly report, Karachi has 9.5 per cent cases and Hyderabad 5.65 per cent, while Karachi’s District East has 12 per cent cases, District South nine per cent, District West eight per cent and District Central seven per cent.

It was pointed out that 192 Covid patients have died this month, while 392 had succumbed to the disease last month. The CM said that the detection ratio has started coming down, hoping that it will drop further if the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are complied with strictly.

On the recommendation of the task force members, the CM decided to resume classes of grades VI to VIII today. He also decided that primary classes will resume on June 21 if the Covid situation improves further.

The chief executive said the NCOC has decided that instead of observing two days off, business activities will now be prohibited only on Sundays. The task force will meet again on Saturday to review the situation and make decisions accordingly.

Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi told the meeting that out of the 3,035,998 doses received, 2,466,458 have been administered. The CM directed the health department to further expand the vaccination drives.

Taking notice of the news of a person selling vaccination certificates at the Karachi Expo Centre, the CM ordered Sindh police chief Mushtaq Mahar to arrest the culprit and make an example out of him for others. “I can’t tolerate such corruption!” The meeting was also attended by ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah and Jam Ikram Dharejo, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Usman Chachar, Karachi police chief Imran Minhas, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Industries Secretary Riazuddin, Special Secretary (Health) Dr Abdul Bari, Dr Faisal Mehmood, Dr Sara Khan, Pakistan Medical Association General Secretary Dr Qaiser Sajjad, and representatives of the V Corps and the Rangers.

A statement issued by Education Minister Ghani after the meeting quoted him as saying that the situation of Covid-19 seems stable, so the task force has approved reopening primary and middle schools.

He said that the number of Covid-19 victims in Karachi and Hyderabad is more than five per cent but the situation is improving due to the rapid pace of vaccination.

He also said that grade IX and above had been allowed to resume classes last week, and grades VI to VIII will resume classes today, while primary-grade students will be allowed to return to school on the 21st after reviewing the situation further.

He added that according to the SOPs, during this period the attendance of students in all classes will be 50 per cent, while all the staff members of schools will have to get vaccinated.