A meeting presided over by Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood and comprising his provincial counterparts decided Thursday Pakistan's schools would remain open, as of now, despite the rising number of coronavirus infections and deaths.

The decision was made unanimously by all provincial education ministers after health ministry officials briefed the participants of the online meeting on Pakistan's coronavirus situation.

The meeting's participants agreed that in the current situation, there was no need to close the educational institutes.

"Educational institutes across the country will remain open," the ministers decided.

The meeting, however, ruled that there would be no winter holidays in Punjab, while a decision on whether there would minimal number of winter holidays or none at all would depend on geography of the respective provinces.

It was reported that the meeting was unable to make a decision about the board examinations of the eighth, ninth and tenth classes.

Earlier today, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas, following the online meeting, said reports of schools being closed amid the worsening coronavirus situation were "FAKE NEWS".

"Just got done with the meeting of all Education Ministers of Pakistan. Schools in Punjab will remain OPEN & run on the current schedule. All other news is FAKE NEWS.

"COVID 19 situation is under control as of now. Please follow SOPs issued by School Education Department Punjab," Raas added.

The next meeting of inter-provincial education ministers was scheduled for December 2020.

On the other hand, Pakistan has reported highest coronavirus deaths in 3 months as the number of positive cases has surged to 338,875. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 6,893.

According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 1,302 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours.