Pakistan plans to reopen schools in spite surge in virus cases

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Islamaba, Jan. 4, 2020 (dpa/NAN) Pakistani authorities on Monday announced a phased reopening of educational institutions from Jan. 18, 2021 in spite a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Secondary schools across the country will open to students from grades nine to 12 from Jan. 18, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said.

Elementary schools will follow on Jan. 25 and universities are to resume classes from Feb. 1, the minister added.

Pakistan closed all educational institutions in November 2020 in response to a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Authorities had earlier announced all schools would reopen on Jan. 11, 2021.

The announcement comes as Pakistan’s total number of COVID-19 cases to date cruises toward half a million, with more than 10,000 virus-related deaths, according to official statistics.

The Pakistan Medical Association, the country’s biggest body of healthcare professionals, has advised the government against the reopening of school until the current wave of infection subsides.

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