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Punjab schools doing ‘absolutely fine’ to control coronavirus: Murad Raas

Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas. —The News/Files

Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas said Friday that the province had the coronavirus pandemic under control and that the government is doing a “fine” job in mitigating its spread.

The minister, in an interview to a private news channel, said that schools in Punjab are strictly following the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), while those schools where positive COVID-19 cases emerged have been temporarily sealed.

Raas, shedding light on the coronavirus situation across schools in Punjab, said that Punjab is the only province that is strictly following the SOPs.

“We are closely monitoring the situation because of which you are seeing  very few cases of coronavirus among schoolchildren and teachers,” Raas maintained.

He added that there are 120,000 public and private schools in Punjab, so it is not possible to visit every school. So far, cases have been confirmed in 117 schools, out of which 16 have been sealed.

“We are carrying out random testing. When we find even a single case, we suspend the classes, and if there are multiple cases reported on campus, we temporarily shut down the school,” he said.

The minister stressed that schools are not being closed in Punjab because of the different nature of the cases reported in various cities.

“At the end of the day, the lives of students and teachers is the most important thing to consider at the moment, however, an across-the-board decision is not possible because if there are more cases in Gujranwala, for instance, we cannot close schools in other cities. It does not make any sense.”

“I am sending my children to school too and I think the government took the right decision by reopening the schools,” he said. “I think we are doing fine and there should be no winter vacation either. Unless there are concrete numbers available, it’s not right to make a drastic decision.”

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