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Coronavirus: All schools, colleges in UP to be shut till March

Press Trust of India 

The Uttar Pradesh government announced on Friday that all schools and colleges in the state where exams were not going on, have been closed till March 22 in view of the coronavirus scare.

With the state reporting 11 confirmed coronavirus cases, the Yogi Adityanath government asserted that all precautions were being taken to check the spread of the disease.

"All schools and colleges associated with the basic, secondary and higher education, and vocational colleges, where examination process is not on, have been closed till March 22," Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters here.

Exams would go on according to schedule, he said, adding the people concerned have been instructed to take all precautionary measures and maintain hygiene.

The decision would be reviewed on March 20 on the basis of which the future course of action would be decided,

the chief minister said.

"Though we have not declared this disease an epidemic in the state, we have delegated some powers under the Epidemic Act to facilitate treatment and if required shifting people to isolation ward to check its spread. The health department will bring a notification in this regard soon," Adityanath said

Of the 11 COVID-19 patients in the state, 10 are being treated in Delhi and one in King George's Medical University, Lucknow, he said. Of them, seven were from Agra, two from Ghaziabad and one each from Noida and Lucknow.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country stood at 75, which included the 76-year-old man from Karnataka who died on Thursday. The total includes 17 foreigners -- 16 Italian tourists and a Canadian.

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who convened a high-level meeting of senior officials to deliberate on coronavirus, said an alert in this regard was declared about one-and-a-half months ago and necessary advisory was also issued.

Efforts were being made to set up isolation wards in all the 75 districts. Doctors, paramedics and nursing staff were being provided necessary training, Adityanath said.

He said that 4,100 doctors have been trained to deal with the disease while 24 medical colleges have been readied with advanced care facility.

Stressing on adopting all precautions to check the spread of the disease, specially at airports and in India-Nepal border areas of the state, Adityanath said was an effort to avoid mass gatherings.

The India-South Africa match slated in Lucknow on Saturday will be held without spectators on the ground, but it would be telecast live, the chief minister said.

However, a decision regarding cinema halls have been left on the owners and they have been asked to maintain proper hygiene in the premises, he said.

Adityanath said that wearing masks were not necessary for everyone and his government was looking into complaints that masks were being sold at exorbitant prices.

The situation in Uttar Pradesh was under control and there was no need for people to panic, the chief minister said as he stressed on the importance of awareness and caution.

The state government was reaching out to people through awareness drives at schools and community level with the help of different departments, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, March 13 2020. 16:24 IST