West Bengal government orders closure of all educational institutions due to COVID-19 outbreak

Last Updated 14 March 2020, 13:08 IST

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country West Bengal government has ordered the closure of all educational institutions in the state from March 16 to March 31. The order issued from the Chief Minister’s Office exempts board examinations.

“In view of the evolving situation on the spread of novel coronavirus (COVD-19), the advisories issued by WHO, UN and the Central government and as a matter of abundant precaution to check its spread in the state of West Bengal, it has been decided that all government, government-aided, private educational institutions...will remain closed from March 16, 2020, to March 31 in the public interest,” stated the release.

It also states that while ongoing Board examinations will continue internal examinations of related institutions will be suspended.

Later in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government will review the situation on March 30 to decide the future course of action.

“As a precautionary measure, we have instructed closure of all educational institutions from Mach 15 to March 31. We will review the situation on March 30 to decide the future course of action,” Banerjee told a private news channel.

Urging people not to panic she also said that her government has set up several isolation facilities in the state including Kolkata.

“ At Rajarhat we have set up an isolation facility of 300 beds at a newly built cancer hospital. The hospital is yet to start functioning,” said Banerjee.

Elaborating further on the decision Banerjee pointed said that since Bengal has many international borders such as those with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh such as “precautionary measures” were necessary.

She also said that the ongoing Budget Session of the Assembly should be cut short as the state Assembly holds a large gathering in a relatively small place. However, she added that the final decision in this regard will be taken by the Speaker.

The Chief Minister on Friday suspended all sports in the state till March 30.

Eminent educational institutions in the state such as the Visva Bharati University ( a Central University) and IIT Kharagpur have also suspended classes due to coronavirus outbreak.

(Published 14 March 2020, 12:34 IST)

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