High schools and universities in Pakistan opened Tuesday after being closed for almost six months. Online classes were offered in most schools.

Students were divided into two groups, which attend classes on alternate days. Officials said that they would monitor the situation for a week and if things remain under control, classes for young children would begin in the coming weeks.

Dr. Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to the prime minister on health, said that school authorities would try to ensure that social distancing is maintained during classes.

“The most important role will be that of a mask,” Mr. Sultan said, stressing that parents should make sure that their children wear masks in schools.

Selected schools will undergo testing to keep a check on any possible spread of the virus. If security protocols are broken, local officials have the power to close or fine a school. The academic year is likely to be prolonged, officials said.

Pakistan has documented at least 300,000 cases of the virus and nearly 6,400 deaths, according to a Times database.

Reporting was contributed by Sarah Almukhtar, Matt Apuzzo, Emma Bubola, Emily Cochrane, Shaila Dewan, Nicholas Fandos, Antonella Francini, James Gorman, Rick Gladstone, Mike Ives, Jennifer Jett, Isadora Kosofsky, Anemona Hartocollis, Eric Lipton, Salman Masood, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Constant Méheut, Claire Moses, Eshe Nelson, Norimitsu Onishi, Richard C. Paddock, Gaia Pianigiani, Roni Caryn Rabin, Campbell Robertson, Amanda Rosa, Christopher F. Schuetze, Michael D. Shear, Jeanna Smialek, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Derrick Taylor, Glenn Thrush, Maria Varenikova, Sui-Lee Wee, Ceylan Yeginsu and Elaine Yu.

source: nytimes.com

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