KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the Sindh Education department to ensure implementation of Standard Operational Procedure (SOPs) in all educational institutions so that children could be protected from epidemics.

“The institutions, public or private, which violate the SOPs must be brought to book.” This he said on Wednesday while presiding over a meeting to review the coronavirus situation in the province, said a statement.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Shah, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtz Ali Shah, Secretary Education Ahmed Bux Narejo, Secretary Health Kazim Jatoi,Dr Bari, Dr Faisal, Dr Sara of WHO and other concerned persons.

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani told the Chief Minister that he visited most of the schools when they were reopened on September 15 but found most were not following the SOPs, therefore he decided to close them from grade VI to VIII and now they would reopen on September 28.

He added that during closure time the schools would be able develop necessary mechanisms to implement the SOPs.

The Chief Minister expressed displeasure and directed the minister to issue necessary instructions to all the educational institutions, public and private, to ensure implementation of the SOPs in the larger interest of the children. 

“Those who fail to implement SOPs will be taken strict action against them,” he said.

Secretary Health Kazim Jatoi briefing the Chief Minister said that there were 3158 active cases in the province till Tuesday, of them 2092 in Karachi division, 670 Hyderabad, 81 Mirpurkhas, 101 Shaheed Benazirabad, 96 Sukkur and 118 Larkana.    

It was disclosed that stemming from COVID-19 there were only eight cases in March, 109 in April, 385 May, 904 June, 817 in July, 186 in August and 62 in September.

At this the Chief Minister said that the figure showed the epidemic was at its peak in June and then started declining, therefore people have to contain it further by proper implementation of SOPs.

The meeting was told that the high areas included markets, shopping malls, tourist spots, hotels, processions and crowded gathering, shrines, restaurants, polio and dengue health workers and office workers.