The Punjab government has decided to convert hostels of public sector universities across the Punjab province into quarantine services for staying patients of Coronavirus in isolation in case of any emergency.
The Higher Education Department Punjab issued directives to Vice Chancellors (VCs) of all public sector universities to get hostels of their respective universities vacated by 8:00 pm the same day. Many universities had already got their hostels vacated after receiving orders from the federal government related to shutting down the campuses across the Pakistan in order to control the spread of Coronavirus.
However, all the hostels of public universities were got vacated by Sunday night after receiving notification. In the provincial metropolis and in the province, Punjab University with 8,000 plus boarding students has the maximum number of hostel facilities for the boarding students. Total 28 hostels, 12 are for female students and the rest are for male students located in PU.
Punjab government official said that this decision was aimed to get free extra space in hospitals for more seriously ill patients in case of a potential larger outbreak of Coronavirus as seen in different countries of the world.
According to the PU Registrar Dr Khalid Khan the university has over 100 foreign boarding students who are mostly from Sudan, Somalia, Nepal, China and other parts of the world and they have been adjusted in two separate hostels after rest of the hostels were available for Punjab government.
The University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore also got vacated 16 of its hostels having around 4,000 boarding students. According to UET Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mansoor Sarwar, the university has 173 foreign boarding students, mostly male, belonging to Somalia, Yemen, Jordan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka while one female student from China who have been accommodated accordingly.
He further said UET-Kala Shah Kaku (KSK) Campus has 3 hostels with 580 boarding students. Prof Mansoor Sarwar added all the hostels had been vacated while the foreign students had been accommodated in two hostels.
Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) has also got vacated 4 of its hostels having 589 boarding. There is not a single foreign boarding student at LCWU. Similarly, the Government College University (GCU) Lahore has got vacated four of its hostels which had around 1200 boarding students.
The University of Education has got vacated two of its hostels at its Township campus and one at Bank Road campus. The university has over 800 boarding students in total.