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Universities to Go Online for Two Weeks in Selected Cities: HEC

Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday announced that universities in a few cities of Punjab will operate online for two weeks amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The development comes after the government announced earlier to close academic institutions in seven cities due to the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

As per the statement released by the HEC, an exception will be given to universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) in the following cities: Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan, Sialkot, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad.

“All universities and HEIs in the above-mentioned cities shall remain closed for physical attendance during March 15-28, 2021,” said the statement.

However, the on-going and pre-scheduled exams can be conducted as planned with the complete observance of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“Universities are advised to ensure strict observance of the COVID-19 minimum health and safety protocols i.e., thermal scanning, wearing facemasks, social distancing, availability and regular use of sanitizers, and disinfection of buildings,” the statement added.

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Earlier in the day, due to the surge in coronavirus cases, the government decided to close the educational institutions in seven cities of Punjab.

The decision was announced by Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood in a press conference in Islamabad.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad that was conducted to discuss the fate of educational institutions after surging in coronavirus cases in schools.

As per the decision, the educational institutions in seven cities of Punjab will close down for two weeks from March 15 (Monday) in light of rising Covid-19 cases.

Saman Siddiqui

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