Islamabad: The PTI government has decided to close all the educational institutions till the first week of April as a precautionary measure to contain the COVID-19.
A local TV channel reported that the annual Pakistan Day military parade, that was to be held on March 23, had been cancelled in wake of the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The decision was taken in Friday’s National Security Committee (NSC) under the chair of Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said an official twitter handle of Federal Minister for Education, Shafqat Mahood.
“This includes all schools and universities, public and private, vocational institutions and madaris,” the Federal Minister wrote in his Tweet.
The federal government has also announced establishing 35 isolation wards all over the country to cater to COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting, called to hammer out a strategy to deal with coronavirus as the army chief ordered his top commanders to gear up “in support of a national effort” to counter the pathogen.
Services chiefs including Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed apart from chief ministers, top advisers and cabinet ministers attended the meeting of top consultative body.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.
The NSC meeting was announced as the country confirmed its 21st novel coronavirus case in Sindh while Punjab – the country’s most populous province – declared a “health emergency” to deal with the contagious disease.
According to Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood, the NSC was to decide the kind of measures to be taken to deal with the situation including “refraining people from participating in public gathering”.
Earlier on Thursday, the 230th Corps Commanders’ Conference – chaired by Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters – discussed among other things the contagion – also called COVID-19.
“The forum also discussed emerging situation with regards to the coronavirus and preventive measures taken at the military level. The COAS directed all concerned to gear up preparations in support of national effort to counter this pandemic in case of any eventuality,” said a statement issued by the military’s media wing.
The FDE Islamabad also issued notification to close school till April 5.
The Ministry of Interior has also announced sealing of western boarder of Pakistan along Afghanistan and Iran for two weeks with effective from March 16 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the best interests of three brotherly countries, said a notification.