The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced the closure of schools and other educational institutions in Peshawar and several other districts till March 28 in view of the increase in cases of coronavirus.
In a press conference in Peshawar with Health Minister Taimur Jhagra and Kamran Bangash, Provincial Education Minister Shahram Tarakai said the provincial cabinet had cancelled the February 7 PST test through NTN.
He said the NTS would conduct the test again at its own expense and this time the tests would not be conducted simultaneously across the province but on a region-by-region basis, which would be monitored by the government and the test process would be conducted periodically.
He said that it was decided in the meeting of the Task Force Code that in the districts where the rate of code exceeds 5%, the educational centres would be closed for a few days.
Shahram Tarakai said that these districts include Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, Kohat, Swat, Lower Dir and Malakand where the rate is more than 5% but somewhere is 12%, somewhere 13 and 10 and from tomorrow till March 28 Educational institutions in the districts will remain closed.
He said that the situation would be reviewed in due course but at present due to this decision, there are rapidly spreading cases of Coronavirus, children and teachers in schools are being affected.
He said that according to the statistics, the number of educational institutions in these districts was increasing so we are going to close the schools from tomorrow but the staff will continue to come because there will be staff for the parents who have homework or other work.
On the occasion, Provincial Health Minister Timur Jhagra said that efforts are being made all over the world to lead a normal life and until the virus is completely controlled, we have to change our attitudes.
He said that it was also decided in the task force that those who closed down educational institutions would be punctual while maintaining economic activities and would set a safe day on Saturday and Sunday.
“We are also talking to representatives of the business community so that there is a time limit on specific economic activities. We will impose restrictions on mutual communication so that economic activity can continue, but also our health system,” he said.
“The use of our resources on code has increased by 30 per cent in the last week and there is still no capacity issue, but we need to make our decision-making more timely, dynamic and efficient,” said Timur Jhagra.
“We appeal to the people that our vaccination process is underway. The vaccine approved by the government of Pakistan and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is safe,” he said.
He said that from today onwards, people over 70 years of age can go for vaccination on their basis and a meeting is being held today where we will do more walk-in vaccinations and we will give good news in this regard in a few days.
The provincial health minister said that the cabinet discussed issues related to pension and retirement and various decisions were taken, the retirement age was raised back to 60 years, pension reform package has been approved, on which some elements have been implemented immediately. There will be more work to be done.
He said that a committee has been constituted in this regard so that the committee would give its final suggestions for the improvement of the pension system and rules and present them to the Cabinet so that a final decision could be taken soon.