The Himachal Pradesh government has taken precautionary measures to close all educational institutions, including universities, colleges, technical institutes and schools by April 4, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state increased recently.
Classrooms will remain open for students to take their exams during this time, following the decision at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday. Some elementary schools in the state have already been closed due to the COVID-19 threat and will remain that way until the end of next week.
The prime minister said that residential schools do not have to close their dormitories, but must follow all standard operating procedures to keep residential areas closed and appoint a “compliance officer” to ensure that all instructions are followed. Thakur said teachers and other staff from the school and university will continue to visit the facilities. The state government would not host national and cultural events, and public gatherings would be limited to a maximum of 200 people for indoor events and 50 percent for outdoor events.
Thakur said the medical and nursing facilities will continue to operate as usual. He said that churches and langars in temples are forbidden, but darshans are allowed. The prime minister said there will be no public celebration of Holi and urged people to celebrate the festival at home with their families. Thakur said all frontline workers would be informed of the earliest possible vaccinations when they complete their second dose on time. At the meeting, it was also decided that the respective district administrations should demand the implementation of additional restrictions, taking into account the positive and fatal rate in their areas.