Positivity rate up in Himachal Pradesh, uncertainty over reopening of schools

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 22

There is uncertainty that the government will reopen schools and colleges, as the positivity rate and daily Covid cases have been rising consistently in the recent past. The Cabinet will take a decision on September 24 whether to extend the closure of schools beyond September 25 or open these as demanded by both parents and students.

The most worrisome situation is in Mandi district where the positivity rate has escalated to 8.5 per cent, followed by 4.4 per cent in Hamirpur, 2.6 per cent in Kangra and 2.3 per cent in Shimla. Even during earlier two waves of the pandemic, these districts were the worst-hit, registering the highest number of Covid cases and deaths.

Though the overall positivity rate in the state is 2.4 per cent, the situation in Mandi, Hamirpur, Kangra, Shimla, Mandi and Kullu remains worrisome. There are a total of 1,715 active cases and 3,639 deaths.

Though restrictions on all social, political, sports and cultural functions continue with a capped attendance of 50 per cent of the total capacity of the venue, both indoors and outdoors, there has been an increase in Covid cases of late.

The state government has kept the schools closed for the past almost two months after allowing them to open for a brief period, as students and teachers in several schools had tested Covid positive. However, most of the residential schools in Shimla, Solan, Kasauli and Dalhousie are open. The teaching and non-teaching staff of government schools have been attending duties though students are not coming.

As many as 79 students and three staff members of a private school in the Dharampur area of Mandi had tested Covid positive from September 19 to 21.

The government has invited criticism from people for keeping schools closed while huge gatherings have been witnessed in political functions and rallies.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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