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The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided that educational institutions with high positivity are to be closed for a week, adding that aggressive testing especially in high disease prevalence cities will be carried out.

In a statement on Friday, the NCOC said testing in education institutes was carried out in major Omicron-hit cities to ascertain disease-spread among students and ensure accurate disease mapping.

"Data suggests a strong correlation between vaccination levels and infection rate in various cities," it said. "It has therefore been decided that aggressive testing (will be carried out) in education institutes for next two weeks especially in high-disease prevalence cities.

"Education institutions/premises/sections/specific classes with high positivity to be closed for one week.

"The provincial administration in consultation with district health, education authorities and school administrations to set a threshold of cases for deciding such closures."

A meeting of provincial education ministers will be held on Saturday after which an official announcement on school closure is likely, said an official familiar with the development.

Meanwhile, the NCOC added that federating units will carry out special vaccination drives in schools to ensure 100 % vaccination of students over 12 years of age.

The decision comes after the country reported 7,678 cases, its highest daily number since the start of the pandemic. The overall positivity rate, recorded at 12.93%, was also the highest since June 2020.

Pakistan reports highest Covid cases in a day since start of pandemic

On Wednesday, the NCOC had announced a set of new restrictions in cities with an over 10% Covid-19 positivity ratio.

The meeting had decided to impose a complete ban on all types of indoor gatherings, including dine-in and wedding, and all types of contact sports in the districts and cities where the Covid-19 positivity rate exceeded 10%.

Also read: Indoor dining banned in Karachi, Hyderabad from Jan 21

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