Odisha government on Saturday announced that state public universities and govt as well as non-govt degree colleges have been directed to commence physical classroom teaching for 2020-21 UG 1st Year students (for both 3 year and 4 year UG courses) from 20th September following COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019, educational institutions were closed after a nationwide lockdown was imposed. Since then virtual classes were being conducted, however after seeing a decline in Covid cases now the government has decided to commence physical classes for 2020-21 UG 1st Year students.
Issuing a notice, the government said, in view of improvement in Covid-19 situation in the state, State Public Universities and Government as well as Non-Government Degree Colleges (coming under H.E. Department) are hereby directed to commence physical classroom teaching for 2020-21 UG First Year students (for both 3 year and 4 Year UG Courses) from 20 September 2021 following Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
Here's a look at the guidelines issued:
a. Teachers/ Staff/ Students residing in Containment Zones shall not come to University College.
b. Face Mask/ Face Cover shall be mandatory.
c. Frequent Hand Wash/ Hand Sanitization shall be ensured.
d. Social Distancing shall be adopted in classrooms, libraries, laboratories, etc. If need be, crowded classes can be divided into batches and teaching hours in a day can be extended.
e. Spitting in campus shall be strictly prohibited.
f. Respiratory etiquettes shall be strictly followed. (Le. Covering one's mouth and nose by handkerchief while coughing/ sneezing)
g. Self-monitoring of health and reporting of illness should be encouraged
h. There must be an isolation room ready for any emergency.
The circular also notified, hostels shall be opened from 19th September for these students. All possible Covid-19 prevention protocols shall be followed in hostels. Suitable decision regarding commencement of classes of 2021-22 Under Graduate and Post Graduate First Semester/First Year shall be communicated later. State Private Universities (under H.E. Department) may also consider following these guidelines to the extent required by them.
Meanwhile, a top official associated with Odisha's COVID-19 vaccination drive today has expressed concern over people not turning up for their second dose, a lacuna that is slowing down the exercise in the state. Odisha has administered the first jab to over two crore people so far, while only 69.8 lakh have taken both the doses, the official said.
"Around 28 lakh more people should have taken the second dose by now. The second dose administration has been slow in parts of the state, especially in tribal areas," Dr Bijay Panigrahi, the nodal officer for Odisha's COVID-19 vaccination drive, stated.
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