The Sindh government has ordered public and private educational institutions in Karachi to pause physical training and assembly for a month as part of new standard operating procedures (SOPs) in wake of the dengue outbreak to prevent disease spread, a provate TV channel reported on Sunday. According to an administrative order all education institutions were directed to follow the new SOPs in “letter and spirit” for a month and until further orders. The following instructions were issued as part of the new SOPs: students to wear full sleeve shirts and trousers; hundred per cent inspection of containers inside indoor premises to avoid water accumulation for a long time; ensure cleanliness and proper solid waste management; ensure regular spraying within institutional premises to prevent dengue and malaria spread; clean water tanks to be properly covered and elimination of water pooling sources; ensure mosquito repellent access to students and staff; prevent water stagnation in and around institutional premises; cover items that can possibly store water; carry out awareness sessions regarding safety measures to prevent dengue and malaria; contact district administration for curative measures in case dengue larvae found. Meanwhile, data from the Sindh health department showed that 386 dengue cases were reported in the province on Sunday, with the bulk of the infections reported in Karachi division – 349. In the rest of Sindh, 28 cases were reported in Hyderabad division, five in Mirpurkhas division, two in Shaheed Benazirabad division and one each in Larkana and Sukkur divisions. Karachi division also led the province’s caseload of 3,020 cases reported in September with 2,818 cases.Separately, the National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH) has dismissed reports of the emergence of any new strain, terming it a “hoax”. However, leading infectious diseases experts claimed the presence of four serotypes of the vector-borne disease, saying that “a mix of dengue serotypes’ could be affecting people in Pakistan. “No new variant of dengue virus has been reported, it is just a hoax,” an official of the NIH Islamabad said in response to a question about the emergence of new dengue variants bring the reason behind severe illnesses affecting people.