PESHAWAR - A meeting of the Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 was held with Chief Minister Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair here on Thursday. 

Provincial ministers Taimur Jha­gra, Akbar Ayub, Sultan Khan, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Nau­man Mahmood, Chief Secretary Dr. Kazim Niaz and other high ranking civil and military officials also at­tended the meeting. 

The meeting was briefed about the latest situation of Corona pan­demic in the province. It was in­formed that there had been a signif­icant decline in Corona cases across the province whereas recovery ratio of the patients was above 90%. 

The meeting was informed that 34,171 out of 36,340 coro­na patients had been recovered whereas 1255 deaths had so far been reported from the pandem­ic throughout the province. Pres­ently only 20 patients were under treatment in ICUs. It was further informed that utilization of health­care system capacity for Corona patients in the province had con­stantly declined and utilization of ventilators had dropped by 84% and utilization of HDUs had also dropped by 92%. 

Expressing his satisfaction over the implementation status of SOPs at tourist sites as well as in Muhar­ram processions, the Chief Minis­ter directed the authorities con­cerned for conducting maximum tests for COVID-19 in all those dis­tricts where processions and gath­erings were held during Muhar­ram-ul-Haram. 

The meeting also reviewed preparations regarding reopen­ing of educational institutes in the province and decided that fi­nal decision to this effect would be taken in consultation with Na­tional Command and Operation Center (NCOC). The meeting was informed that all preparations re­garding reopening of schools had been completed and SOPs for the purpose had also been notified. Separate SOPs for hostels and transport of educational institutes had also been notified. 

It was further informed that dis­infection of schools used as quar­antine centers was also in pro­gress and detailed SOPs had been issued with special focus on use of face mask for staff and students, hand washing, ensuring regular cleanliness etc. The meeting was informed that all educational in­stitutions were bound to imme­diately inform the district health department in case of Corona symptoms in children. 

The education department, the meeting was told, was in close contact with the federal ministry of education and National Com­mand and Operation Center re­garding reopening of educational institutions. Readiness certificates would also be provided by the heads of educational institutes by the September 07. 

Similarly, workshops have been arranged for teachers in order to ensure safe reopening of schools. All the district education officers have been directed to have close liaison with district health depart­ment and administration as well to facilitate random testing for coronavirus in schools on need ba­sis and health department will be requested to undertake COVID-19 test if the suspected cases are re­ported. Communication campaign would also be launched after the final decision of federal govern­ment by September 07. 

The meeting was also briefed about the immediate response and targeted measures implemented to mitigate the impact of pandem­ic on education of children. COV­ID-19 recovery and response plan was developed and academic calen­dar was revised. Under the E-initia­tives of the education departments dedicated TV channel was started for online education of the children. 

Similarly, learning portal, You­Tube channel, Taleem Ghar (Grade I to X), virtual teacher (Q&A) fo­rum have been launched. The edu­cation department has shared free online curriculum based on learn­ing materials on its website to fa­cilitate the students.