With Covid-19 ‘under control’, Assam to open elementary schools, hostels
With marked improvement in the Covid-19 scenario in the state in November, the Assam government has decided to start elementary schools and also allow hostels to open.
Health and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday that classes in elementary schools from kindergarten to Class 6 will resume from January 1 and hostels in residential schools and colleges will start in a limited manner from December 15.
“The Covid-19 situation in Assam is satisfactory and under control. But keeping in mind, the situation in other parts of India and the world, we are on alert. A survey by a weekly magazine has ranked Assam as the best state in Covid-19 management,” Sarma told journalists in Guwahati.
Till Sunday, Assam had recorded 2,12,617 Covid-19 cases with 981 deaths. At present there are 3,350 active cases in the state. The recovery rate is 98% while the death rate is 0.46%.
Sarma informed that the number of positive cases have continuously gone down in November starting from 325 cases on an average daily in the first week of the month to 158 cases daily in the last week.
“Keeping in view the present situation, we have decided to allow opening of elementary schools from kindergarten to Class 6 from January 1 and allow residential schools and colleges to allow final year students to stay in hostels from December 15,” he said.
Though Assam had allowed resumption of offline classes from Class 7 and above earlier, the junior classes had not started in schools. Sarma informed that classes will start in a staggered manner and detailed SOPs will be announced within the next few days.
Students will be allowed to attend classes based on written consent from parents and students staying in hostels will be allowed entry only after they undergo Covid-19 tests.
“We have closed all temporary Covid Care Centres (CCCs) in the state due to the improved situation. In the meantime, the number of beds in hospitals has been increased. The temporary CCCs will open again if the Covid-19 situation deteriorates in the coming days,” said Sarma.
There were over a dozen CCCs operating in Guwahati and another 20 more in the rest of the state earlier.
Sarma informed that the Centre has asked states to prepare details on the four categories of people who would get vaccinated first—1) doctors, nurses, frontline workers, 2) police, army, para-military personnel, 3) senior citizens and 4) persons with co-morbidities.
“Based on preliminary survey, there would be nearly 60 to 70 lakh people in Assam falling in those categories. As far as we know, the vaccine would be available around March-April next year,” he said.
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