Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho has suggested that reopening educational institutions from September 15 could lead to a spike in coronavirus infections in the province.
“First universities and colleges should be opened and after looking at the situation a decision about reopening primary and secondary schools should be taken,” she said on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Friday.
The minister suggested that a gap of at least six days should be given in reopening educational institutions. “Schools in Sindh should be reopened by the middle of October.”
Classes should not be completely packed and the number of students in one session should be reduced, she added.
Schools, colleges and universities across Pakistan are expected to reopen on September 15.
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood has said that a meeting to finalise the reopening of schools will be held on September 7. All provincial ministers will attend the meeting and submit their suggestions on the matter.
On Thursday, the government issued precautionary coronavirus SOPs that all educational institutions will be required to follow. These include conducting screenings of students on entering school premises and implementing social distancing rules. Students will also have to wear masks at all times.
Pechuho said that once the schools reopen in Sindh, students will be administered typhoid vaccinations.
“We are conducting 6,000 coronavirus tests in Sindh every day,” she said, adding that the rate of positive infections in the province has reduced to 1%. The number of isolation wards in Sindh has been decreased while the number of ventilators have been increased.