Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lt.Gen Muhammad Afzal on Wednesday said that 235,000 corona testing kits would be available in the country till Friday and 100,000 more testing kits were also coming here till Wednesday night.

Briefing media, after attending National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting,he said the kits would be handed over to provinces after thorough checking. Out of those imported kits, 35,000 testing kits would be provided to Sindh, 25,000 each to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and 15,000 testing kits would be provided to Balochistan.

NDMA has provided 17,000 N95 masks, kits to Punjab, 8,000 to Sindh, 97,000 to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6,200 to Balochistan,,2750 to Gilgit-Baltistan,1,000 to Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT),2,800 AJK.

He said the demands of provinces were being entertained. NDMA has provided Personal Protective equipments (PPEs) to Punjab enough for 18,000 as comparing to demand for 600 persons. Similarly 20,000 PPEs were provided to 56 hospitals of Punjab in next three days.

NDMA has provided 42,000 PPEs to Sindh as comparing to the calculated requirement of 9,000. The equipments will be delivered to 42 hospitals of the province within the next three days.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the written demand of providing 940,000 PPEs. As many as 10,000 had already been supplied and the rest would be supplied within the next three days.

Likewise, Balochistan has been supplied 8,000 PPEs as comparing to calculated requirements of 2,000. Gilgit-Baltistan had demanded 15,000 PPEs, NDMA would provide them 24,000 PPEs. NDMA was planning to supply more 4,000 PPEs to them. Islamabad Capital Territory Hospitals have demanded 18,000 PPEs. NDMA had already supplied them8,000 PPEs while 6,000 would be given within next three days.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir had demanded 10,000 PPEs, and 13,000 had already been supplied plan was being finalized to supply them 2,000 more PPEs as soon as possible.

The ventilator requirements of provinces and centre would be fulfilled, he said adding that only 14 laboratories had the facilities of conducting 2,000 corona tests till March and right now, 22 laboratories are working. The equipments of 12 laboratories were being sent to provinces. Four extra machines are being sent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The equipments of two more laboratories would be sent to Punjab for enhancing corona testing capacity.

25 systems of enhancing testing capacity of laboratories would come to country soon. Each divisional headquarter of the country would have corona testing facility within a short span of time.

PEIRA for granting 20% fee concession to parents, School associations rejects decision

Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) Wednesday directed the private schools working in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to must grant 20 percent concession in monthly fee of students for the month of April and May, 2020.

According to a notification issued by PEIRA, the decision has been taken to provide relief to the parents during nationwide lockdown owing to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

However, PEIRA clarified that those educational institutions that were charging monthly fee less than

Rs 5000, do not fall under this order.

As per earlier directions of PEIRA, no educational institution shall collect fee in advance except on monthly basis. Therefore any fee challan (if already issued) in violation of this policy may be cancelled and fresh fee challans for fee collection on monthly basis to be issued accordingly, it added. Hence, parents/guardians were also advised to pay fee in a timely manner.

It also directed that the services of all staff members working in private schools including teaching and non-teaching staff not to be terminated and staff salaries to be paid on regular basis during afore-stated period till May 31, 2020.

The notification further stated regarding announcement of Cambridge International on school examination in the May/June 2020 and subsequent policy decisions, the students who want to appear in CIEs upcoming examination (October/November 2020 Series) may be permitted in accordance with CIEs policy. However, rest of the students may be dealt as internal policy of schools concerned.

All educational schools till intermediate level in ICT were strictly advised to ensure compliance in true letter and spirit.

On the other side, the ICT Parents Association had rejected 20 percent relief in monthly fee. The association wanted implementation of Supreme Court verdict in that regard.

Meanwhile, Central President of the Private Schools Association Chaudhary Ubaid said that rather to create confusion, PEIRA should take this decision back in respect of Supreme Court earlier orders.

He said that association rejected the federal and provincial governments decision regarding 20 percent decrease in fee.

Ch. Ubaid further stated that teachers salaries were fixed, adding that 90 percent of private schools had rented buildings.

He said that the association rejected the PEIRA decision and will move to the court to challenge it.

He also requested the prime minister to announce an educational relief package for private schools in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.