Federal education ministry directed the provinces on Friday to ensure closure of educational institutions until May 23 to avoid a further surge in Covid-19 cases.
"Educational institutions shall remain closed till May 23 in view of the directives of the NCOC [National Command and Operation Centre] to deal with the third wave of Covid," read a communique sent to all provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan."
It added that the directives apply on all government, private institutions, seminaries, and vocational and technical educational campuses.
The ministry asked the relevant institutions to ensure that the directives are followed in letter and spirit.
On May 8, NCOC – Pakistan's nerve centre to control the Covid-19 pandemic – decided to extend the closure of all educational institutions till May 23.
The decision was taken in view of the ongoing trends of the disease. However, a review will be carried out in the NCOC’s next meeting, scheduled for May 18.
Explaining the reason behind the recent restrictions put into effect by the Centre, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who is also the chief of the NCOC, said that the government realises that the restrictions put into place are going to cause inconvenience. However, he added, they have been necessitated by the "extremely dangerous situation" created in the region with the spread of virulent mutations of the virus.
The NCOC late last month announced a new set of restrictions including a blanket ban on tourism and inter-provincial transport in an attempt to contain a further rise in already mounting coronavirus cases under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” strategy.