Shafqat Mahmood announced that classes from ninth to 12th will be commenced from April 19.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Tuesday has decided to close primary and middle schools in coronavirus hotspots across the country till April 28.

Addressing a press conference after the NCOC meeting, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood said that the decision regarding resumption of classes from grade one to eight will be taken in another meeting that will be held on April 28.

He also announced that classes from ninth to 12th will be commenced from April 19. The examination of ninth and tenth classes will be held in the third week of May, he added.

Shafqat Mahmood further told that the universities in coronavirus-hit districts will hold online classes. The provinces will decide which areas are the most affected and where this will be implemented, he stated.

On March 24, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood had announced to keep all educational institutions in nine districts of Punjab closed till April 11 as third wave of coronavirus grips Pakistan especially Punjab.

Talking to media persons after a meeting of NCOC, he emphasized that that closure is for all form of educational institutions including universities as well as academies.

The announcement was for Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha, and Sheikhupura.

Earlier today, Pakistan has reported 103 deaths in the last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 696,184. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 14,924.

According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 3,953 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Till now 6,675 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab 4,510 in Sindh, 2,469 in KP, 584 in Islamabad, 372 in Azad Kashmir, 211 in Balochistan, and 103 in GB.

Furthermore, 266,926 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 235,569 in Punjab, 93,033 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 62,211 in Islamabad, 19,855 in Balochistan, 13,529 in Azad Kashmir and 5,061 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pakistan has so far conducted 10,493,362 coronavirus tests and 46,665 in the last 24 hours. 618,158 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 3,645 patients are in critical condition.