Pakistani authorities say they have closed down almost two dozen educational institutions for failing to comply with rules aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
"During the last 48 hours, 22 educational institutions across Pakistan have been closed due to noncompliance of health SOPs/protocols and disease prevalence," the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) said in a statement on September 17.
The NCOC said that 16 of the closed institutions are located in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; one in the capital, Islamabad; and five in the Pakistani-administered Kashmir region.
The announcement comes a day after millions of students across Pakistan at high schools and other institutions of higher learning returned to classes following a six-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal government last week announced the staggered resumption of classes following a sharp decline in the country's daily infection numbers, though teachers and students must follow precautionary measures such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Middle school and elementary school classes are set to reopen on September 23 and September 30, respectively.
Pakistan has recorded more than 303,000 coronavirus cases and 6,399 deaths, but daily infections have been slowing since July.