National

Himachal closes educational institutes till March 31

Shimla/Chandigarh, Mar 14 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/14/2020 12:11:36 PM IST

The Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday announced closure of all government and private schools, colleges and universities till March 31 as a precautionary measure in view of coronavirus.

Making an announcement in the Vidhan Sabha, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said this was a precautionary measure as concerned parents and students had approached him. “Though not a single positive case has been reported from Himachal, as a precautionary measure we have decided to close all educational institutes, anganwaris and creches till March 31,” Thakur said.

He said a notification had been issued earlier about postponement of all fairs, festivals, religious functions and sporting events. “So far a total of 593 people with travel history from vulnerable countries affected by corona virus have been reported. The samples of seven people who indicated symptoms of flu, however, have tested negative,” he said.

The CM said the health department was fully geared to tackle the situation and there was no need for fear or panic. “We will ensure proper monitoring of our entry points as a lot of Nepalese working in Himachal arrive here by road,” he said.

Addressing concerns raised by Asha Kumari regarding the huge gatherings during the ensuing Chaitra Navratras, he assured that necessary directions would be issued and people would be advised to avoid gathering in large numbers.

The CM said a mechanism would be put in place to ensure that proper screening of tourists was done at the entry points along the borders with the neighbouring states.

Punjab closes cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools

After ordering closure of all educational institutes in the state till March 31, the Punjab government on Saturday shut down cinema halls, gyms and swimming pools till further orders amid coronavirus scare.

This was stated in a government release. The order comes into effect from midnight.

Earlier, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu had said the government was contemplating to take this step keeping public health in view.

“Keeping public health in view, we are contemplating closure of cinemas, gyms and clubs till March 31. Besides, we are also thinking to impose ban till the end of this month on all such public functions which attract big crowds,” Sidhu had said. 

In the wake of coronavirus scare, the Punjab government on Friday ordered closure of all universities, colleges and school till March 31.

Meanwhile, Punjab government has decided to give its retiring doctors and paramedical staff working at its department of family health and welfare department an extension until September 30, 2020, in the wake of the health crisis.

These retiring doctors and paramedical staffers will be ineligible for promotion or additional perks, an order issued by Principal Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare said.

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