Punjab govt plans isolation wards in hostels of educational institutions
Students, faculty members fear future health risks due to virus exposure
LAHORE: Punjab government is planning to set up isolation wards at educational institutes and hostels for coronavirus patients and has asked the authorities concerned to allow the immediate establishment of the facilities in the hostels.
Sources revealed that in the first phase, all hostels of the Government College University (GCU) will be converted into isolation wards. Seeing the increasing number of patients, all hostels of Punjab University and the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) will also be converted into isolation wards.
Punjab government is also planning to extend the holidays at the universities and all semester exams scheduled to be held in April, May and June will be cancelled.
On the other hand, students residing in the hostels and faculty members are criticising the move to convert hostels into isolation wards, complaining that it could be risky for the health of the students in future.
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The sources revealed that Punjab government is planning to get possession of hostels from the university administrations in Lahore and has asked the GCU administration to hand over the buildings, including the historic new hostel on Kachehri Road.
The government has also asked the Punjab University administration to make available its hostels for patients. The administration agreed to provide Hostel Number 3, School of Biological Sciences and Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology. The PU administration has started making arrangements in this regard.
Meanwhile, the authorities have cancelled exams of O and A Levels which were scheduled in April and May. Moreover, due to the isolation wards, it is likely that the government will extend the closure of educational institutions beyond April as announced earlier.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2020.