Keeping in view the spike in Covid-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh, the state government on Friday ordered closure of all the educational institutions — including schools, colleges, universities and technical institutes — up to 4 April as a precautionary measure, barring those classes which are having their examinations.

This was decided at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here.

The CM said that schools having residential facilities need not close their hostels.

However, they will have to comply with all the Covid safety protocols or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to keep these residential areas cut off and appoint a Compliance Officer to comply with all the orders.

Thakur said that teachers and other school/college staff would continue to attend the institutions.

The CM said that no social and cultural events would be organised in the state by the government and that gatherings would be restricted to a maximum of 200 persons for indoor events and 50 per cent capacity for outdoor events. He said that nursing and medical institutions would continue to function as usual.

He said that congregations and langars inside the temples would also be banned.

However, normal darshans would be allowed. Thakur also said that 3 April would be a holiday for all the offices in the state and that there would be no public celebration of Holi. The CM urged the people to celebrate Holi at their homes with their family members only.

He said that all the frontline workers would be sensitised to get themselves vaccinated against Covid and completing their second vaccine dose as per schedule at the earliest.

It was also decided in the meeting that the district administrations would take judicious call on imposing more restrictions keeping in view the Covid positivity and fatality rates in their respective districts. Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries RD Dhiman and JC Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director NHRM Dr. Nipun Jindal, and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.