Schools, colleges to remain closed in J&K

Decision on higher educational institutions’ reopening in a fortnight | Ceiling of 25 on gatherings back in place

All schools and higher educational institutions, including coaching centres, will continue to remain closed in Jammu and Kashmir for onsite or in-person teaching, till further orders.

However, the educational institutions are permitted to seek personal attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes.

Meanwhile, the State Executive Committee will review the possibility of re-opening of the higher educational institutions for on-site learning in a fortnight, after the assessment of dose-wise vaccination status of their students and staff.

The order in this connection was issued by the Chief Secretary A K Mehta, who is also the chairperson State Executive Committee (SEC) of J&K Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, on Sunday.

Besides, the government today reiterated that the maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor or outdoor gathering would be restricted to 25.

On August 8, the SEC had temporarily relaxed the ceiling of 25 people on August 15, on account of Independence Day celebrations in Jammu and Kashmir.

With regard to reopening of schools, the order read, “All heads of higher educational institutions (i.e., all institutions with students above the age of 18) will in a fortnight assess dose-wise vaccination status of the students and staff of their respective institutions enabling the State Executive Committee (SEC) to take a considered view on the re-opening of these institutions for on-site learning.”

Mehta, in his order, also directed that night curfew would continue to remain in force in all districts from 8 pm to 7 am. However, there would be no weekend curfew in any district.

The State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, further ordered that the guidelines or instructions on Covid containment in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir already notified vide Government Orders 35 and 36 — JK (DMRRR) of 2021 dated May 29, 2021 read with Government Orders 56 - JK (DMRRR) of 2021 dated August 8, 2021 would continue to remain in force till further orders.

SEC issued these new guidelines for pandemic containment after a detailed review of the current Covid situation in Jammu and Kashmir was conducted by the Chief Secretary, J&K, with the Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education; Principal Secretary to Government, Home; Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other officers of Jammu and Kashmir on August 13, 2021.

Review was conducted on an overall assessment of the situation pertaining to the spread of Covid-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly focusing on the parameters viz., total weekly new cases (per million), total positivity rate, bed occupancy, case fatality rate, vaccination coverage of targeted population and extent of compliance to Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).

“Whereas it was observed that as compared to the previous weeks, some improvement has been made by many districts in respect of these parameters. However, there is a need to continue with the existing Covid containment measures in all the districts in view of the uneven trend in the daily cases,” SEC noted.

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