All educational institutions in Telangana to shut from 24 March amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Hyderabad: All educational institutions in Telangana would be temporarily closed from Wednesday and offer online classes to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the wake of a spurt in fresh cases in recent days, including from some schools, the state government said.

Making a statement in the state assembly, Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy said the closure order will be applicable to all government and private run educational institutions, hostels and gurukul institutions, barring medical colleges.

Online classes shall continue for students, she said. The Minister said parents raised concerns over the spurt in the COVID-19 cases and sought temporary closure of educational institutions, which had reopened on 1 February after a gap of ten months.

She said following a spike in COVID-19 daily cases, the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chattisgarh have already announced closure of educational institutions in their respective states.

"The country is again witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases. In our state too, coronavirus cases have been reported from some educational institutions. The state government believes that there is a possibility of COVID-19 exploding in view of mass gathering of students in educational institutions forteaching and non-teaching activities," she said.

After a review, the state government as a precautionary measure decided to close all educational institutions from 24 March on a temporary basis, Reddy said.

She requested the people to cooperate with the government on the steps taken to check coronavirus spread and responsibly wear masks, wash hands regularly and always maintain physical distance. Several students from a few schools and hostels besides residential schools in different parts of the state had tested positive for the infection over the past fortnight.

In view of the spurt in COVID-19 cases, Telangana Health Minister E Rajender on Monday asked people not to venture out of their homes unless there is an emergency. He, however, sought to assure people that everything was under control in the state.

Telangana recorded 412 new COVID-19 cases on Monday taking the tally of cases to 3,03,867 while death toll rose to 1,674.



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