Worried over the sudden spurt in Covid cases, the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Monday imposed night curfew in four districts — Shimla, Kullu, Mandi and Kangra, which are fast emerging as hotspots.
The decision was taken by the Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. The curfew would be enforced in all these four districts from 8 pm to 6 am daily till December 15, when it will be reviewed again. The Cabinet also decided that gathering at social, political, cultural, sports and other such events in open areas would be restricted to 200 persons. The fine on not wearing mask has been enhanced to Rs 1,000. All the buses in the state would ply with 50 per cent of occupancy till December 15.
The decision has been prompted with Shimla and Mandi getting almost 2,000 cases within the last fortnight and an average of 10 deaths taking place daily. A central team would shortly be visiting the hill state to examine the situation which has resulted in Shimla and Mandi districts topping the country in terms of very high positivity rate.
It has been decided to keep all government educational institutions, including schools and colleges, closed till December 31 for students. However, online studies would commence from November 26. Teachers would continue to work from home till further orders. Offices of high schools, senior secondary schools and colleges would function from November 26. Principals would be at liberty to call faculty members as per local requirement.
The Cabinet has also decided to restrict attendance of Class-III and IV government employees to 50 per cent, with each one of them attending office three days a week till December 31, 2020.
It also decided that winter closing institutions would remain closed from January 1 to February 12, 2021. The academic session would be extended in case of winter closing schools and students of classes first to fourth and classes six and seven would be promoted as per the provision of RTE, 2009.
It was also decided that final examination for classes 5, 8, 9 and 11 would be conducted simultaneously for winter and summer closing schools in March 2021. Board Exams for classes 10 and 12 would be conducted in March 2021 together for winter and summer closing schools with 30 per cent relaxation in syllabus already carried out by HP Board of School Education.