VIJAYAWADA: Govt decides to close all educational institutes till end of March; officials to ensure more than 10 persons don’t gather in public places; private sector employees urged to work from home; next 15 days crucial, says Chief Secy
With neighbouring States registering fresh cases of COVID-19, the AP government on Wednesday announced a slew of measures to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the State. All government and private educational institutions were told to remain closed till March 31, and authorities were asked to ensure more than 10 people do not gather at any public place. Emphasising the need for social distance to stop the spread of the infection, the government also announced that playgrounds should be closed and all sporting events deferred.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy chaired a meeting with senior government officials, and a decision was taken to declare holidays for all schools, colleges, universities, hostels, polytechnic colleges and coaching centres in the State till March 31. Exams, however, will be held as usual and special buses will be operated for students appearing for examinations.
Later, Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney held a video conference with district collectors to take stock of the situation and issued instructions to them. “Make sure there are no gatherings of more than 10 people at any place. Ensure people practice social distancing (one metre between people) and raise awareness about this,” she said.
The CS also wanted officials to ensure private-sector employees work from home and government employees be asked to ensure sanitisation at work. Though the government did not ask for the closure of hotels, restaurants and bars, it wanted these establishments to adhere to sanitisation protocol in their premises. She wanted officials to ensure there are no large gatherings at commercial establishments such as malls. “The next 15 days are crucial and people should take all possible precautions to avoid the spread of the virus,” she said.
CBSE puts off Class 10, 12 exams; case count up
While COVID-19 cases crossed 150 in India alone, 276 other Indians got added to the list on Wednesday as they had tested positive abroad. The CBSE put off all remaining Classes 10 and 12 board exams till March 31. There is still no indication of community transmission in India, as 820 people with no international travel history or contact with confirmed cases tested negative. PM Modi is scheduled to address the nation at 8 pm on Thursday