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Universities, colleges, schools closed for physical class-work till May 15

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Public gatherings restricted; testing made mandatory for all incoming passengers; overloading prohibited in public transport, strict action warned against violators

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday ordered closure of colleges and universities for physical class-work till May 15 while the closure of all schools was also extended till the same date.

According to an official press release, Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha today chaired a high level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in J&K, during which some major decisions were taken for containment and mitigating the spread of the virus in the UT.

The meeting decided to keep all universities and colleges in J&K closed for imparting on-campus/in-person education to the students till 15th May, 2021, except for the courses/programs that require physical presence of students on account of laboratory/research/thesis work and internship, etc. Colleges will move to online teaching mode.

All schools in J&K shall also continue to remain closed for imparting on-campus/in-person education to the students till 15th May, 2021, the meeting decided.

In view of the surge in the cases, public gatherings are being restricted and it was decided that the ceiling on the number of people permitted to attend gatherings/functions shall be 20 in case of funerals; 50 for all kinds of gatherings at indoor venues and 100 for all kinds of gatherings at outdoor venues.

The LG also passed necessary directions for strict enforcement of the existing guideline for compulsory testing of all incoming passengers to J&K. All passengers or travelers coming to J&K, whether by rail, road or air, will have to compulsorily undergo a COVID-19 antigen test through any of the prescribed methods as per the protocol of the J&K government.

The LG directed all District Magistrates to put in place an effective mechanism to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour in all crowded markets, shopping complexes and malls, besides taking stern action against the violators. In this regard, necessary cooperation and support of the local market associations may also be taken, he added.

The LG also called for taking market associations on board in the fight against coronavirus by encouraging them to voluntarily stagger opening timings and schedules of the business establishments to reduce crowds.

The District Superintendents of Police were directed to ensure that public transport, — buses, mini-buses, and cabs, and other modes of public transport are plying strictly as per their registered/authorized seating capacity with no passengers standing. They were also asked to take punitive measures under relevant provisions of the law against the violators.

During the meeting, the LG was briefed about the latest update on the surge in COVID cases, testing capacities, trends of daily testing, district-wise trend of active cases, infrastructure for management viz bed capacity, ventilators, oxygen generation plants besides logistics with the healthcare institutions in J&K, district-wise vaccination coverage.

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

He directed Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to ramp up the 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 their own safety and safety of others.

The LG also called for heightened awareness to keep the infection low and immediate capacity augmentation.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the LG, BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Dilbag Singh, DGP; Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, Finance Department; Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education;  Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, Home Department; Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Public Works (R&B) Department; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the LG; Simrandeep Singh, Secretary DMRR&R; BK Singh, Secretary School Education;  Sushma Chauhan, Secretary, Higher Education; Dr. Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Ch. Mohammad Yasin, Mission Director, National Health Mission, J&K and Mukesh Singh, IGP Jammu attended the meeting.

Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir; and Mohammad Aijaz, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar joined the meeting through virtual mode.

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