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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Himachal Pradesh shuts schools, colleges till April 15 to curb Covid spread; coaching centres, hostels can remain open

On Thursday, health secretary Amitabh Avasthi directed district health officials to re-activate all dedicated Covid centres to cater to the increasing number of patients, and said that 80 ambulances have been redeployed for Covid patients in all the districts.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
Updated: April 3, 2021 7:33:32 pm
The total case tally of the state is 64,494, including 1,044 deaths. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

To check the spread of Covid, the Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday ordered all educational institutions in the state to remain closed till April 15 but coaching centres, nursing/medical/dental colleges, and hostels can remain open during this period. Educational institutions in the state were closed on March 27 following a surge in Covid cases.

According to the latest order by the government’s disaster management cell, all schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions will continue to remain closed but the staff (teaching as well as non-teaching) will have to attend their respective institutions.

“Students of classes having their scheduled examinations in the near future can visit the school/ educational institute to clear any doubts with a written consent of the parents/guardian,” said the order issued by additional chief secretary (revenue) RD Dhiman.

It said that schools and other educational institutions having residential facilities need not close their hostel facilities provided they follow Covid prevention SOPs and guidelines issued by the union ministry of health and family welfare. Similarly, nursing/medical/dental colleges and coaching centres for competitive exams can also remain open, the order said.

It further said that educational institutions earmarked as examination centres must be properly sanitized before being used as exam centres, and all such institutions must appoint a compliance officer for this purpose.

During the pandemic, schools in Himachal were first allowed to reopen for some classes in November but they were closed a few days later following a sharp spike in Covid cases. They were once again reopened in February when Covid cases in the state declined to a record low, but were closed recently on March 27 following a rise in the number of infections.

On Thursday, health secretary Amitabh Avasthi directed district health officials to re-activate all dedicated Covid centres to cater to the increasing number of Covid patients, and said that 80 ambulances have been redeployed for Covid patients in all the districts.

According to the latest Covid bulletin, there are 3,095 active cases in the state, including 614 in Una, 600 in Kangra, 547 in Solan, 296 in Bilaspur, 294 in Shimla, 271 in Hamirpur, 208 in Sirmaur, 160 in Mandi, 58 in Kullu, 40 in Chamba, seven in Kinnaur and zero in Lahaul-Spiti.

The total case tally of the state is 64,494, including 1,044 deaths. There were four Covid-related deaths each day on Thursday and Friday.

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