Himachal Pradesh schools closed, curbs increased to check Covid-19 spread

The Himachal Pradesh government is concerned about the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state. Few days ago, the number of active cases had dipped to around 800 but the sudden surge took the figure to 2,318 on Tuesday. The Jairam Thakur government has also issued advisories to tourists.
A healthcare worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, on Tuesday.(Aqil Khan/HT Photo)
A healthcare worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, on Tuesday.(Aqil Khan/HT Photo)
Published on Aug 11, 2021 08:42 AM IST
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By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Himachal Pradesh government announced the closure of schools across the state till August 22. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday which was chaired by chief minister Jairam Thakur.

The state government earlier had opened schools for Classes 10 and 12, but now they have been closed till August 22. However, teaching and non-teaching staff will continue to attend the school, according to government order.

The education department has been asked to frame standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the residential schools to contain Covid-19, the order further said.

The Himachal Pradesh government is concerned about the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state. The state recorded 419 fresh Covid-19 cases and two deaths on Tuesday, which took the total number of infections and fatalities to 2,08,616 and 3,521 respectively.

Few days ago, the number of active cases had dipped to around 800 but the sudden surge took the figure to 2,318 on Tuesday. The state had recorded 2,086 active cases on Monday while the positivity rate stood at 1.9%, according to health department figures.

There are six districts in Himachal Pradesh which have recorded a rising trend in daily new Covid-19 cases over the last fortnight, according to Union health ministry. The reproduction factor (R-factor) - or the ability of the virus to reproduce - has also stayed above 1 (currently at 1.3), the ministry said. The R-factor has to stay below 1 for an outbreak to be called under control.

The state government is also concerned about the tourist inflow, and has decided to make it mandatory for tourists to carry RT-PCR negative reports of a minimum of 72 hours, Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) report of 24 hours or vaccination certificate with both doses to enter the state.

The state government had earlier issued an advisory to the tourists entering the state to follow the above guidelines which have been made mandatory now.

The inter-state, inter-district and intra-district movement of public transport buses has been allowed, but with 50 per cent of the registered seating capacity, according to state government order. However, only those passengers who have the above-mentioned test reports and certificates will be allowed to travel on these buses.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022