Tribune press service
Shimla, September 22
There is uncertainty over whether the government will reopen schools and colleges as the positivity rate and daily cases of Covid have steadily increased in recent times. The Council of Ministers will decide on September 24 to extend the closure of schools beyond September 25 or to open them as required by parents and students.
The most worrying situation is that of Mandi district where the positivity rate rose to 8.5%, followed by 4.4% in Hamirpur, 2.6% in Kangra and 2.3% in Shimla. Even during the first two waves of the pandemic, these districts were the most affected, recording the highest number of Covid cases and deaths.
Although the overall positivity rate in the state is 2.4%, the situation in Mandi, Hamirpur, Kangra, Shimla, Mandi and Kullu remains of concern. There are a total of 1,715 active cases and 3,639 deaths.
Although restrictions on all social, political, sporting and cultural functions continue with attendance capped at 50% of total site capacity, both indoors and outdoors, there has been an increase of Covid cases lately.
The state government kept schools closed for almost two months after allowing them to open for a brief period as students and teachers at several schools had tested positive for Covid. However, most boarding schools in Shimla, Solan, Kasauli and Dalhousie are open. Teaching and non-teaching staff in public schools participated in assignments although students did not come.
Up to 79 students and three staff at a private school in the Dharampur area of Mandi had tested positive for Covid from September 19 to 21.
The government has called on people to criticize for keeping schools closed as huge rallies were observed at political functions and rallies.