LAHORE: The University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore announced on Friday that it was shutting down its in-person classes for two weeks as Pakistan’s coronavirus infections crossed the 600,000-mark.
The announcement comes as the COVID-19 positivity rate in Pakistan shot up from 3.6% a week ago to 6.5% today and Asad Umar — the planning and development minister and head of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the body monitoring Pakistan’s coronavirus situation — warned that the third wave has begun in the country.
The UHS Lahore wrote on Twitter that the varsity and affiliated medical and dental colleges have been closed for two weeks — from March 15 to March 28, 2021.
It said: “No physical classes will be held during this time [and] all classes will be shifted to an online method according to the timetable.
“Ongoing exams will be held as per schedule,” the UHS Lahore added, noting that the university staff would strictly adhere to the coronavirus-related standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Pakistan crossed the 600,000-case mark on Friday after 2,701 new infections were reported over the past 24 hours, according to the daily data issued by the NCOC.
The rise in the number of cases is alarming for policymakers since it was only a month ago when Pakistan had crossed the 500,000-mark.
Pakistan’s worrying coronavirus situation
A breakdown of the data showed that of the 600,198 cases, 10,816, 19,171, 4,959, 46,963, 75,052, 182,576, and 260,661 were reported from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh, respectively.
On the other hand, the total active COVID-19 cases stand at 18,703, while 568,065 people have recovered in Pakistan. The NCOC added that 54 new deaths were also recorded in Pakistan in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally of coronavirus-related deaths to 13,430.
Out of the total, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and AJK reported 4,452, 5,698, 2,138, 520, 202, 103, and 317 deaths, respectively.