Amid a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, the Himachal Pradesh government Tuesday ordered a “special vacation” for students and staff at all government and private educational institutes in the state from November 11 to 25.
The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said.
After witnessing a decline in September and early October, active Covid cases in the state have doubled from around 2,500 in mid-October to 5,000 currently, coinciding with the period when local residents and tourists are thronging to markets and public places in the festive season.
On November 2, colleges and schools had been allowed to reopen for students of Class IX and higher after more than seven months. Attendance was voluntary and a student could only join back at the school or college after a written consent by his/her parents.
However, teachers and students at some schools tested positive for the coronavirus immediately before or after the reopening, including 92 students and staff at a single school in Jogindernagar.
Bhardwaj said the Cabinet has decided to order the closure of all schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics and coaching institutes for students as well as teaching and non-teaching staff for a fortnight beginning Wednesday.