Just a day before Himachal Pradesh begins its vaccination drive in 12 districts, the cabinet on Friday cleared the reopening of schools for students of classes V, VIII and XII on February 1.
The cabinet meeting held here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur decided that all the teachers of summer-closing government schools would attend classes from January 27. All Covid-19 precautions should be taken and protocols followed, the meeting added.
“The students of classes V and VIII to XII will be allowed to attend regular classes from February 1, 2021, by strictly following the laid-down SOPs. The school management shall ensure a strict use of face masks, social distancing and sanitisers on the school premises. Similarly, ITIs and polytechnic and engineering colleges would also reopen from February 1 this year,” said state’s education minister Govind Thakur here.
The cabinet also to allow students of classes V and VIII to XII of the winter-closing schools to attend regular classes after winter vacations with effect from February 15, 2021.
Online classes under Har Ghar Pathshala would, however, continue. The scheme involves sending the teaching material and also regular visits of the teachers at pupils’ homes.
A similar system can be adopted by the private schools in the state, state government spokesman said here.
All the government colleges would reopen for regular classes from February 8, 2021, after winter vacations by strictly following the SOPs.
Earlier in November 2020, the state government had opened the schools for classes for students of classes IX and XII but had to shut those down when the Covid-19 cases registered a sudden spike with a high mortality rate.
However, after imposition of strict curbs, including night curfew in the four hotspot districts of Shimla, Kangra, Mandi and Kullu and restricting the gatherings at all social functions upto 50, the state has shown a significant drop in the infection.
Twice during the past week, the state did not report any mortality, including on Thursday, while daily average deaths have also come down to one or two.
“The number of active cases in the state has also dropped to 722 only with districts like Lahaul-Spiti having just three cases and Kinnaur seven. The district of Kullu has been left with just 20 cases and Chamba 27.
With the state government also planning golden jubilee celebrations for the state, the government wants all the restrictions on Covid-19 to end by January 25.
Meanwhile, the government has constructed four makeshift hospitals at IGMC Shimla, community health centre, Nalagarh, RPGMC, Tanda and Medical College, Ner Chowk. But due to reduction in Covid-19 active cases, the cabinet decided to ensure optimum use of these makeshift hospitals.
The makeshift hospital at IGMC will be used as medicine intensive care unit, the one at at RPGMC Tanda as communicable diseases/ infectious diseases ward, the makeshsift hospital at Nalagarh as trauma care centre and the one at SLBSGMC Mandi at Ner Chowk as super specialty ward. It also decided to notify zonal hospital Dharamshala and DDU Hospital Shimla as non-Covid hospitals.
Himachal Pradesh has received 93,000 doses of Covid vaccines on Thursday. Nearly 40,000 frontline workers will be covered in the first phase of the vaccination.
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