With the spike in coronavirus cases, the Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday shut all educational institutions, comprising the schools and colleges, both the government and the private, in the state till January 26.
"Considering the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the State along with threat of Variant of Concern "Omicron", all educational institutions (Government, Semi government or Private) which include Schools/Colleges/Universities/Academic Institutions/Engineering Polytechnic Colleges /ITIs/ Coaching Centers will remain dosed up to 26.01.2022 in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The Residential schools will also remain close for the period," the order read.
But the nursing institutions and medical colleges will be exempted. But they have to follow the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, an official statement said.
"All Nursing and Medical colleges will however remain open and will ensure observance of the COVID-19 SOPs and safety protocols issued by the Health Department," it said.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Saturday instructed the authorities to enhance COVID-19 testing, effective monitoring of clusters in view of rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
The Chief Minister was presiding over a video conference meeting with the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers from Shimla to review the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
Thakur said that since the numbers of COVID-19 cases were increasing at a sharp pace, the state government was ensuring that people adopt covid appropriate behaviour.
The Chief Minister said that preparedness regarding availability of beds, oxygen PPE kits and drugs must be reviewed and all restrictions imposed by the state government must be enforced strictly.
Thakur said, "Medical experts are expecting a sharp surge in the number of cases in the next few days and weeks, thus special precautions must be adopted. The mechanism of home isolation must be made more effective and revised home isolation guidelines must be implemented." He added that pulse oximeters and thermometers must be provided to ASHA workers and other health workers so that the patients under home isolations must be monitored regularly.
Thakur said that in case of any complications, the patients must be immediately moved to health institutions. "Effective mechanism of transportation of patients must be evolved so that the patients do not face any inconvenience," he added.
He also directed the officers to ensure adequate availability of oxygen cylinders and other necessary equipment so that in case of any emergent situation, panic could be avoided.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS)
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