Pakistan to reopen educational institutions starting Sept. 15

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Islamabad – Pakistan said on Monday that it would allow educational institutions to reopen, after of closure due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, as a declining trend in infections encourages authorities.

“We have decided that educational institutions should be allowed to reopen in a phased manner,” Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told a news conference.

According to the plan, higher education institutions would reopen from Sept. 15.

Classes for junior students would resume after weekly assessments, whereas classes for primary students would resume from Sept. 30.

Health minister Faisal Sultan said that a declining trend of infections had encouraged the reopening of the schools.

He said students would attend their classes on alternate days and that wearing a face mask would be mandatory.

Health Ministry data from showed that 394 new cases and three deaths were reported during the last 24 hours.

In total, the country has recorded 298,903 cases and confirmed 6,345 deaths.

According to the Pakistan Association, at least 100 and 24 paramedics died from COVID-19.

Pakistan reported its first coronavirus case on Feb. 26 and enforced a countrywide lockdown in March, under which more than 300,000 educational institutions were closed.

Authorities allowed some businesses to reopen in May and lifted all the restrictions on Aug. 10 after a substantial decline in numbers of infections.