Schools, colleges in Rajasthan will have to close due to Covid-19 cases surge: Minister
Rajasthan transport minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said on Saturday schools and colleges in the state would have to be closed due to the increased spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Khachariwas said he would further speak to chief minister Ashok Gehlot and place a request for the closure of all educational institutions in Rajasthan.
“Corona is spreading fast, schools and colleges will have to be closed because children are coming positive in many schools. I will talk to chief minister Ashok Gehlot and request for closure of schools, colleges and universities,” Khachariyawas said while speaking to reporters.
The transport minister’s comments came in the backdrop of 25 students and three staff members of a government boarding school in the Udaipur district testing positive for Covid-19. Chief medical officer (CMO) Dinesh Kharadi told Hindustan Times on Friday that the infected students had been placed under isolation and pointed out that tests for 80 students and 10 staff members were conducted after a teacher was found out to be infected.
Schools, colleges, universities were closed in Rajasthan in March 2020 during the initial period of the pandemic. Due to an improvement in the overall situation, authorities allowed for the reopening of colleges, universities and schools for Classes 9 to 12 in January this year with all Covid-related norms in place. While on February 8, students of Classes 6 to 8 were allowed to attend physical classes. However, junior classes continued to remain closed.
Rajasthan on Friday added 195 fresh cases of Covid-19 and one more death, which pushed the infection tally and death toll to 321,123 and 2,789 respectively, according to the health department’s bulletin. Nearly 317,000 people have recovered till now, while 1,584 patients continue to remain under treatment.
With several neighbouring states witnessing an uptick in their coronavirus disease cases, the Rajasthan government made it mandatory for travellers coming from Punjab Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to produce a negative Covid-19 test report not older than 72 hours before entering the state. This decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by CM Gehlot. The government also said that Anganwadi centres and schools for students up to Class 5 will remain closed till March 31.
Gehlot said during the meeting that people were being negligent in following Covid related norms and directed the departments of local self-government, and information and public relations to again accelerate campaigns for creating awareness about the disease.