Turning varsities into quarantine camps: Academic, administrative staff raises concerns

Wajeeh ul Hassan

PESHAWAR: While expressing grave concern over the decision of provincial government to turn the universities into quarantine camps in the aftermath of coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, the leading universities of Peshawar have asked the government to reconsider its decision and establish isolation centers in remote unpopulated areas.

In this regard, an emergency meeting of academic, administrative and other subordinate staffs associations of University of Peshawar, University of Agriculture, University of Engineering and Technology and Islamia College University was held here at the Teacher Community Centre of UoP.        

At the meeting, the vice Chancellors of the public sector universities have shown concern over establishing quarantine centers inside campuses as it would increase the risk of affecting students, teachers and other persons residing within the university campus.  

The meeting underscored the need for urgent holding of a stake holders meeting to better cope up with rising tide of corona patients in the province.  

The meeting unanimously decided to send an official dispatch to provincial government for understanding the critical situation of universities as a mobilizers of human resource development at the cross roads of national and international pandemic response.

The meeting asked the government to immediately establish tent cities  outskirts of Peshawar while at the same time marked University public school and University college for boys on behalf of UoP.

Moreover, UET also allotted Jalozai and research centre of UET in Phase -v Hayatabad for quarantine purposes.

“We are under national obligations to serve community and society to serve but we have to carry on noble cause of educating children at the same time, one participant reminded government in charge.

The meeting also suggested that HED must come in between universities and district government to better and effective communication in times of pandemic, which is not the case so far.

Meanwhile, an internal response committee and surveillance committee will be notify soon to strengthen inter-universities response if patients originates at greater campus.