Twenty-two educational institutions have been closed down across country due to non-compliance of coronavirus-related standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the last 48 hours. As many 16 educational institutions were closed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and five in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), according to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC). Earlier this week, the NCOC had said a ‘major educational institute’ in the federal capital was sealed after a spike in Covid-19 cases was reported from it. “A major educational institution sealed in Islamabad. Due to targeted testing, 16 cases were reported from the subject institution,” read the statement. The NCOC had also shared that contact tracing will be done to ‘ensure containment’ of Covid-19 cases in the city.The government had decided to close schools, colleges and universities in March to curb the spread of coronavirus. Sindh, however, had suspended educational activities in the province on February 27 after detection of the first Covid-19 case in Karachi. On September 7, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had announced that all higher education institutions in the country will reopen in phases from September 15. Over 30,000 religious seminaries across the country also reopened in phases from Tuesday.According to the guidelines issued by the government, the use of masks is mandatory for all teachers and students, while schools, colleges and universities will ensure the presence of hand sanitizers at the entrance. The NCOC has also urged the parents and teachers to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued for the safety of students. Meanwhile, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi suspended academic activities at both its campuses for two days, it emerged on Thursday.IBA Head of Marketing and Communications Haris Tohid refuted media reports claiming the varsity had shut down campuses after two students had tested positive for the virus. “Campuses have not been shut down, only academic activity has been suspended,” he said. When asked about the number of Covid-19 cases reported at the varsity, the official declined to comment. “Right now, we only suspect a certain number of cases. Giving any type of number at this point would be irresponsible. If the actual number is higher than the number we give, we will be misleading the public. But if the actual number is lower, then we will be creating panic,” he said.Three colleges were closed down in Hyderabad division on Thursday after several Covid-19 cases were reported among teaching and non-teaching staff. Eight positive cases were confirmed at two colleges in Matiari district among teaching and non-teaching staff, according to District Health Officer Dr Yar Mohammad. The cases were reported at the Government Girls’ Degree College Matiari and the Government College Maula Saeedabad. “Both colleges have been closed down by the district administration,” Matiari Deputy Commissioner Ghulam Hyder Chandio said. He stated that the colleges would be disinfected, adding that the infected employees had been advised to isolate at home.Meanwhile, Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Farid Mustafa directed on Thursday to seal Government Degree Boys’ College Bhan Saeedabad after 18 virus cases were reported among college staff. He added that six more cases were reported among staff working at Army Public School Sehwan and five more cases among staff working at Government Girls’ High School Sehwan.