Amid Covid surge, J&K orders closure of all education institutions till May 15

SRINAGAR: In view of surging Covid-19 cases, the J&K government on Sunday issued fresh guidelines, ordering shutdown of all universities/colleges and extending closure of schools across the Union territory till May 15, besides outlining other restrictions. The State Executive Committee issued the guidelines after Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha chaired a high-level meeting in Jammu and reviewed the Covid-19 situation in J&K.

“The State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby orders that all universities and colleges in J&K shall remain closed for imparting on-campus and in-person education to the students till May 15, 2021,” the order said.

However, the order made it clear that colleges and universities shall remain open for courses or programmes that require “physical presence of students on account of laboratory, research, thesis work and internship”.

“Colleges will move to online mode and schools across J&K shall continue to remain closed for imparting on-campus and in-person education to students till May15, 2021,” read the order.

“The ceiling on the number of people permitted to attend gatherings and functions related to funerals shall be 20, 50 for all kinds of gatherings at indoor venues and 100 for outdoor venues,” the order said.

In case of public transport, it said: “Matadors, buses, mini-buses and other modes of public transport shall ply strictly as per their registered and authorized seating capacity; no standing of commuters will be allowed.”

All district SPs have been asked to ensure that the guidelines are strictly complied with and punitive measures are taken in case of violation.

“The existing guideline for compulsory testing of all incoming passengers to J&K shall be strongly enforced… they will have to compulsorily undergo a Covid-19 antigen test,” it said.

The order further stated that all district magistrates shall put in place an effective mechanism to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour in all crowded markets, shopping complexes and malls.

While reviewing Covid-19 management and control efforts in J&K, the LG instructed officers to achieve 100% coverage under the Ayushman Bharat-SEHAT scheme, besides making serious efforts to intensify vaccination in their respective districts.

He also directed Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, to ramp up efforts to increase vaccination of the age-appropriate categories and involve prominent religious leaders, sportspersons and public figures to sensitize the public for getting vaccinated for one’s own safety and safety of others.

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