Himachal closes academic establishments until Nov 25 as Covid circumstances rise

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 10

The Himachal government on Tuesday decided to close all educational institutions with immediate effect till November 25 in view of steep increase in COVID cases.

The Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here, decided closure of all schools, colleges and ITIs which had been opened from November 2.

The schools had been opened only for students of classes nine to 12. About 125 government school teachers have so far tested positive and as such there is high probability of the infection spreading among students and the community at large.

The highest number of 711 positive cases was reported in the state yesterday. The average number of deaths daily stands at six to seven. A decision to open the educational institutions will be taken on the basis of the number of COVID cases being reported in the state after November 25.

It was on November 2 that all government schools were opened for students from Class nine to 12. Even as 74 per cent parents had favoured opening of schools and colleges, the attendance barely touched 30 per cent. What added to the worry of the government was the rising infection among teachers and students across the state

A decision has been taken to start first and final-year classes in the medical colleges after Diwali and after a fortnight resuming classes for second and third-year medical college students as well. Now, even this will have to be put on hold till at least November 25, considering the spurt in Covid cases. It had also been planned to hold examinations of MBBS and BDS students in the near future, which could now be delayed further.

The manner in which Covid infection spread among 67 students and 25 teachers and staff members of Tibetan Children Village (TC V) school at Chauntra in Mandi district set alarm bells ringing. Though the TCV school has a boarding where students returned from far-off places like Nepal and Ladakh, chances of transmission among even day students remains very high.

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