Coronavirus: Schools, colleges to be shut in Gujarat

Coronavirus: Schools, colleges, other public places to be shut in Gujarat

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The Gujarat government on Sunday ordered shutting down of schools, colleges, tuition classes, malls, multiplexes, and swimming pools among other public places for the next two weeks in view of the rising threat from coronavirus outbreak.

Chief secretary Anil Mukim, while announcing the decision in Gandhinagar, said that "all educational activities are being shut from March 16 to March 29 till further orders."

Mukim said that the decision was taken after a review meeting held with chief minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. He said that although educational institutes including Anganwadi centers will be shut for the two weeks, teaching and non-teaching staff will have to mark their presence. He also said that the decision will not have any impact on ongoing board examinations. 

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Mukim said that all the cinema halls, multiplexes and swimming pools in the state will also be closed. He said that religious bodies are also being advised not to hold any mass gathering. He said that the government has also prohibited spitting in public places and has imposed Rs500 as fine. Mukim said that spitting spreads infection and that's why the government passed this order. 

Principal secretary, health and family welfare department, Jayanti Ravi said that this is a preventive move and there is no need for panic. She said that a total of 77 suspected cases have been reported, out of which 72 reports have found out to be negative. The result of 5 more cases is awaited.  

On Friday, the Gujarat government had invoked over a century-year-old act to prevent the deadly coronavirus in the state by notifying Gujarat Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020. 

 The act, that will be under effect for a year, has mandated all hospitals including privates ones to have a "flu corners" for the screening of suspected cases of coronavirus. The regulation requires such hospitals to record the history of the persons including their traveling. "In case the person has any such history in last 14 days and the person is asymptomatic then he must be kept in home quarantine for 14 days from the day of exposure," says the notification framed in exercise of powers conferred under section 2,3 and 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

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