Government may ban in-person learning for children below 12 years amid COVID-19 surge

Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus arrive at an elementary school in this file photo. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The government may decide to close schools for children below the age of 12 as the country’s COVID-19 positivity ratio nears 10%, Dr Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, National Health Services, said on Tuesday.

The health official’s statement comes a day after the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) deferred the decision to close schools and announced to collect more data in this regard before taking any decision regarding educational institutions. Has been.

Speaking to Geo Pakistan today, Dr Nausheen Hamid dismissed the notion that the government was not taking steps and waiting for the population to achieve herd immunity.

“No. That is not the point. NCOC is carefully monitoring the evolving situation and several recommendations were submitted during Monday’s meeting,” he replied.

Replying to a question about schools, Hamid said, “Schools, where teachers and children above the age of 12 are vaccinated, may be allowed to continue, but children who were not vaccinated Yes, a decision will be taken about them.”

The government has approved vaccination for children 12 years of age and older, and a nationwide campaign is underway to arrange for jabs in schools.

He said, our primary objective is to save the population from the virus and for this the government will adopt the best possible strategy. “Decisions will be taken to enforce a check and balance on large gatherings which are the main reason for spreading the virus.”

He said that the NCOC will announce the policy in this regard in a day or two.

“We don’t need to impose restrictions across the country, and cities, where the positivity ratio is high, will be curbed.”

She agreed that weddings are proving to be “super-spreaders” and that the government may have to ban indoor gatherings in cities with high positivity, and allow the outdoors with a limited number of guests.