ISLAMABAD    -  City health authorities on Friday recommended closure of Islamic International University (IIUI) after confirmation of 12 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in different departments of the university.

The District Health Office (DHO) has recommended closure of the university to the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration.  

The letter written by DHO to ICT administration said that it has been observed that 12 cases of COVID-19 were reported from different departments of International Islamic University, Islamabad. The letter further said that it is hereby advised to immediately close down the university premises till further intimation by the office of the DHO and conduct thorough disinfection activities as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination. “Furthermore, COVID-19 testing of all the exposed staff/students must be performed and adherence to SOP’s must be strictly ensured,” said the letter. 

The DHO office directed that all the close contacts of the cases must be quarantined for a period of 14 days. 

Islamabad Model School for Girls G-11/1 is also facing closure till further notification by district health authorities. This was done due to two COVID-19 cases detected in the premises.

Meanwhile, disinfection of the school will be carried out as per guidelines issued by Ministry of National Health Regulation and Coordination. Furthermore COVID-19 testing of all the staff and students exposed is advised with strict following of SOPs. All the contacts of the cases are advised to remain quarantined for 14 days. 

Previously, International Islamic University Islamabad was closed due to confirmation of COVID-19 cases and disinfection was carried out. The university was announced to open from 2nd November; however, the university is facing closure again this week. Similarly, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad was closed due to detection of five novel coronavirus cases, till 6th November under recommendation of District Health Office.

Rector IIUI Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai had informed media that university is being closed for a week, meanwhile, administration will further strengthen its security measures against COVID-19.

However, students on sudden closure of the university expressed concerns and said that they will face residential and academic problems after the decision.

Separately, President, IIUI Dr. Hathal Homoud Al-Otaibi called on Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood.

During the meeting, issues of mutual interests including sharing experiences in distance learning, initiatives for promotion of quality education and role of universities in societies building were discussed.

IIUI president briefed the Education Minister on the university’s vision, future plans and strategy for academic excellence. He vowed that he will be in the leading ranks to seek guidance and extend cooperation with the ministry as per aspirations of the Minister for improvements in higher education. Dr. Hathal said that IIUI will be keen to enhance its ties with the universities across the world.

On the occasion, Federal Minister for Education felicitated Dr. Hathal on assuming duties as IIUI’s president and wished him luck for achieving the set goals.  While appreciating the role of IIUI in society building and services, Shafqat Mehmood assured of maximum support to IIUI. He said universities must be given opportunities for linkages. He said that universities must promote exchange of experiences through mutual cooperation. Talking on bilateral relations, the Minister said that Pakistan gave great importance to relations with Saudi Arabia as both are time tested friends. He added that brotherly ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia go back decades and are getting stronger by every passing day.