ISLAMABAD: Authorities in the country have closed 22 educational institutes in the last 48 hours for not complying with government-issued standard operating procedures, according to a statement issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Thursday. According to the command centre, sixteen educational institutions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in Islamabad and five in Azad Jammu and Kashmir were closed down for flouting SOPs. According to the statement, 16 of these educational institutions were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in Islamabad and five in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on the day said the government will close the educational institutions found violating the coronavirus guidelines. Earlier on Monday, a private medical college in Islamabad was sealed after 16 Covid-19 cases were reported among students and employees. The Islamabad district health office in a letter had stated: “It has been observed with great concern that numerous cases of Covid-19 have been reported from Riphah Medical College, Islamabad, since September 9. “To date more than 16 cases have been reported. This trend is very alarming as this institute is becoming a super spreader and a hotspot for Covid-19. It is advised to immediately close down the campus and hostel premises and conduct thorough disinfection activities. The Government of Pakistan on Tuesday allowed higher educational institutions to reopen after six months, with Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood saying that the phased reopening would be extended to grades 6-8 from next week, while primary schools would be allowed to reopen from Sept. 30. Authorities have directed all public and private educational institutions to ensure mandatory mask usage and provide hand sanitizers at all entrances. They have warned that if there is a visible spike in confirmed infections due to schools reopening, they would be shut down once more.