Classes X, XI, XII to resume in Punjab from July 26

Chief Minister announces further easing of COVID curbs, including guests at functions

Schools for Classes X, XI, and XII in Punjab are all set to open from July 26, with Chief Minister Captain (retd.) Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announcing further relaxations. The easing of curbs include increase in the number of people aloowed in indoor gatherings to 150 and outdoors to 300, subject to an upper limit of 50% of the capacity.

Taking note of the decline in COVID positivity to 0.3 %, with reproduction number (Rt) at 0.75 for Punjab (lower than the national average), the Chief Minister said schools will be allowed to open for classes X to XII, but only teachers and staff who are fully vaccinated shall be allowed to be physically present. Physical presence of the students is not mandatory and shall be purely at the consent of the parents; the option of virtual classes shall be continued. An undertaking to this effect shall be submitted to the Deputy Commissioners concerned, he directed.

If the situation remains under control, the remaining classes shall similarly be allowed to open from August 2, the Chief Minister announced.

With respect to social gatherings, the Chief Minister said artistes and musicians shall be allowed at such functions-celebrations in all areas, with adherence due to COVID protocols. The relaxations came days after the Chief Minister had ordered opening of bars, cinema halls, restaurants, spas, swimming pools, coaching centres, sports complexes, gyms, malls, museums, zoos, etc. at 50% with vaccine compliance. He had also earlier allowed colleges, coaching centres and all other institutions of higher learning to open with similar compliance.

The Chief Minister, during a virtual review meeting of the COVID situation, said the month wise whole genome sequencing has shown that more than 90% cases were from a variant of concern i.e. the original virus has been practically replaced by variants, and the Delta variant remained predominant even in the month of June. However, there are no new cases of the Delta Plus variant, he noted.

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