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Closure of schools in NE states to check Covid spread

Closure of schools in NE states to check Covid spread
Students appearing exam in Manipur.
Correspondents Shillong/Imphal / Diphu | Publish Date: 4/19/2021 1:14:24 PM IST

With the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, several north eastern states have taken diverse steps, including imposition of night curfew and closure of educational institutions, to prevent the spread of the dreaded virus.

MEGHALAYA 

In Meghalaya, the East Khasi Hills district magistrate has extended night curfew in the  entire district from 10 pm to 5 am each day as one of the measures to contain the  pandemic. 

Meanwhile, one more Covid-19 related death, that of an octogenarian man in Meghalaya took the fatality count due to the viral infection to 154, even as 108 fresh cases of infection surged the number of active cases up to 754 on Monday. Director Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said a 80-year-old Nandeswar Das of East Khasi Hills district, suffering from other ailments and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, at Super Care Hospital died on Sunday. 

Of the new COVID-19 cases detected on Monday, Dr. War said East Khasi Hills accounted for 95, seven in West Jaintia Hills district, five in Ri-Bhoi district and one case in East Jaintia Hills district. The Meghalaya government has also announced closure of all schools in the State Capital from April 20 till the next 14 days and closed its door for tourists across the State due to surge in COVID-19 infections. This decision was taken at a review meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and attended by cabinet ministers and senior officials.

  “All schools will close from tomorrow for the next 14 days till May 3 in the Shillong area. The situation in other districts is being monitored,” Sangma told reporters.  The Chief Minister said that the ongoing MBOSE examinations would however continue in the State Capital. He further announced that tourists would not be permitted entry into the State from Tuesday.

Restrictions have also been placed on hotels and eateries and would operate with 50 per cent capacity.

Moreover, restrictions have also been placed on Government and private offices and these would now operate with 50 percent capacity.   “Shops will remain open with due adherence to protocols,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that these restrictions have been imposed “to avoid another lockdown in the State.” Meanwhile, the time frame for the validity of RT-PCR tests has been reduced from 72 to 48 hours.

 “An aggressive vaccination drive will also be carried out in the State. Request all citizens above 45 years of age to get vaccinated,” Sangma appealed.

So far, 47416 persons have received both their doses in the State. In total 177925 doses have been administered across the State. However, the vaccination process is running slow with locality-wise vaccination drives have also started.

MANIPUR 

In Manipur, the government has decided to impose night curfew in the state from 7 pm to 5 am in view of the rise of COVID-19 cases, an official said.

 The order issued by chief secretary Rajesh Kumar said the consultative committee of COVID-19 chaired by Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday decided that night curfew will be imposed in the state from 7 pm to 5 am in view of the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The order did not specify for how many days the night curfew will be in force. It said media persons and those engaged in telecom services and essential services will be exempted from the curfew.

The meeting also decided to ban all gatherings with immediate effect except unavoidable gatherings like funerals, marriages. Such gatherings will be strictly limited to 20 persons, with COVID appropriate behaviour like wearing of face mask to be ensured by the host. The order also said deputy commissioners and state police should enforce COVID appropriate behaviour and impose penalty on violators. The board exams for classes 10 and 12 were also postponed in Manipur schools in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, an official said on Monday.

The exams were postponed considering the seriousness of the ever-increasing positive cases of COVID-19 and the impending threat caused by it, said an order issued by Commissioner (Education-S) T Ranjit Singh. Online classes will be resumed at the earliest, it added. Coaching classes, boarding and hostels in schools, and private hostels accommodating students will also be shut immediately, the order said.

KARBI ANGLONG

Due to sudden spike in Covid-19 cases across Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong autonomous district and as directed by Assam government, the district administration has ordered closure of lower primary schools including pre-primary up to class five in two hill districts until further orders.

In view of the rush in Covid-19 cases, the state government has made it mandatory to wear mask, failing which a fine of Rs.1000 may be imposed against the defaulters.

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