Punjab issues SOPs for reopening educational institutions

Punjab government has issued its COVID-19 SOPs for the reopening of educational institutions from September 15 across the province.

The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) along with Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Punjab government have issued comprehensive guidelines and SOPs for the reopening of educational institutions in the province.

As per the issued notification, all educational institutions need to have a comprehensive system and mechanism to identify and isolate suspected COVID-19 patients.

Students must be encouraged to wash hands for 40 seconds with soap and water, and sanitize hands for 20 seconds. The teachers have been urged to educate students about precautions from contracting COVID-19 especially when it came to touching shared surfaces like doorknobs, furniture, chair arms, tables, books etc.

Educational institutions must have a sufficient stockpile of soap and hand sanitizers to be provided to faculty, management and students.

Furthermore, mandatory use of face mask and compliance with social distancing measures must be ensured, said the notification.

The notification also directs that administration/management must ensure that seats are marked for each student and that the teachers are prohibited from   changing their allocated seats.

In addition to it, morning assembly must be avoided to prevent large number of people gathering in one place in accordance with the social distancing measures and that students and staff members must ensure six-feet distance in classrooms, libraries, labs, staff rooms and other places.

Moreover, Punjab government has also limited transport/van services to 50 per cent i.e. vehicles must not be occupied more than 50 per cent of their total capacity, whereas hostels have also been limited to only 30 per cent of their total capacity.

Students must only use their personal accessories and stationary items.

Educational institutions can reach out at 1033 for any further guidance and have been directed to ensure daily temperature screening at entrance.

Administration/management has also been instructed to exercise vigilance for anyone who might register COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, respiratory distress and cough; and should contact respective District Health Authority/DDHO or UC Medical Officers/or 1033 helpline in-case of a suspected case.