LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided to relax timings for industries after improved situation of coronavirus pandemic.  According to a notification issued by the Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department Punjab here on Wednesday, now all industries and factories would be allowed to work round-the-clock and seven days of the week.  Moreover, all businesses linked to the construction industry will also be able to work seven days in a week. 

All businesses will be bound to follow SOPs devised by the health department and those businesses would immediately be shutdown which would not follow health protective measures against COVID-19.  The other restrictions imposed by the Punjab government would remain intact till further orders.

Rass says schools to re-open from September 15 

Provincial School Education Minister Dr. Murad Raas said public and private sector schools across the province would be opened from September 15 provided the post COVID-19 pandemic situation improves considerably. 

In a statement after the inter-provincial video-link conference with Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood in the chair here on Wednesday, he said said all other news regarding opening of school before September 15 were concocted and false, adding that the government could never think of opening of schools as long as students and teachers are exposed to coronavirus.

The video-link conference was attended by all provincial education ministers, provincial secretaries from school education and higher education departments and other officials.  The meeting held long consultation on the various matters including re-opening of educational institutions in the wake of COVID- 19 pandemic.

The Education Minister said the provision of a virus-free environment to students and teachers was the top-most priority of the government, adding that the Schools Education Department (SED) Punjab had completed all work on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding opening of schools in the province.

“All obstacles regarding opening of schools were discussed during the inter-provincial meeting of the education ministers”, he added. Murad Raas said coronavirus situation would be reviewed under the SOPs before embarking on the all-important decision of opening schools and other educational institutions. 

The Minister said one more meetings of the provincial education ministers from other provinces would be held to assess the situation of coronavirus situation during the month of August before the opening of schools in September, adding that the government would take the decision in consultation with the provincial Health Department in the larger interest of students, teachers and their families.