In a series of measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday ordered closure of all educational institutions, including colleges and universities, till May 15.
The administration also put restrictions on social gathering and asked market associations to voluntarily try to stagger opening timings of shops to prevent crowding, according to an official order.
The latest directive came at a time when Jammu and Kashmir recorded 1,526 new coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day spike this year, taking the total number of infected people to 1,46,692.
The coronavirus death count in the union territory went up to 2,057 with six more deaths in the past 24 hours.
The decision to close higher educational institutions was taken at a meeting chaired by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to review the pandemic situation, the order said.
All government and private schools were closed earlier this month as a precautionary measure after a number of students and teachers tested positive for the coronavirus, while J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE) examinations for 10th, 11th and 12th classes were either cancelled or postponed.
In an order issued by the department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, Member Secretary State Executive Committee Simrandeep Singh said all universities and colleges in J&K would remain closed for imparting on campus or in-person education to the students till May 15, except for the courses or programmes that require physical presence of students on account of laboratory, research, thesis work and internship.
“Colleges will move to online mode,” the order said.
Singh said all schools in J&K would continue to remain closed for imparting on campus or in-person education to the students till May 15.
“The ceiling on the number of people permitted to attend gatherings/functions shall be 20 in case of funerals; 50 for all kinds of gatherings at indoor venues and 100 for all kinds of gatherings at outdoor venues,” Mr Singh said.
He said mini-buses and buses and other modes of public transport would ply strictly as per their registered or authorized seating capacity.
“No standing will be allowed. The District Superintendents of Police shall ensure that this is strictly complied with and punitive measures are taken under relevant provisions of the Law,” the order said.
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