On Wednesday, the Odisha government has announced that the schools up to class 12 will be closed in the state from January 07 to February 01, 2022. Just within the span of 24 hours, the COVID-19 cases increased by 78.82%. As per the new guidelines, the schools and colleges will remain closed. The educational institutions will now have to shift to the online method of teaching for classes 10 and 12 students. The institutes, if required, can hold classes in small batches by taking due consent of the parents and also adhering to the necessary COVID-19 protocols.
Along with this, the Anganwadi centres will have to shut down. Despite that, the examinations including summative tests will continue as per the existing schedule. According to the State’s Special Relief Officer, the new and dangerous wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has started. In addition to that, the Omicron variant is said to be a more transmissible variant than Delta. The state has also seen a spike in the number of active cases with almost 1200 cases each day.
Physical classes were earlier open from 6 to 12. For primary classes, the schools were supposed to reopen from January 03, 2022 but the decision had to be deferred due to the sudden spike in the COVID-19 cases. As of now, this closure will continue till February 01, 2022. All sorts of cultural activities have been banned. The assembly halls, seminars and auditoriums will function with 50% capacity. The revised guidelines have mandated that the political gatherings and rallies can take place but only with 100 persons with proper adherence to the COVID-19 protocols. Even for strikes, only five persons will be allowed.
- Shops and shopping complexes can remain open from 5 AM to 9 PM.
- Cinema halls, swimming pools, auditoriums, etc. have to be shut at 9 PM.
- People who have taken bith doses of vaccine will be allowed to enter the market complexes.
- Religious and social gatherings are prohibited.
- Restraunts, hotels, joints, bars, etc. will close by 9 PM.
The nodal officers in the state have started visiting the schools. This postponement in holding offline classes comes after many parents and guardians have expressed their concerns amidst the rising COVID-19 cases. The decision has been taken with proper consultation with the health experts and stakeholders. As per the order, the malls and shopping complexes will function but with only a reduced number of customers. It will be the responsibility of the owners to ensure that the customers wear masks and adhere to the social distancing norms.
However, it’s not just Odisha that has decided to shut down the physical classes. Many other states have also decided the same. These states include Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and many more. Maharashtra, among all, has been worst hit by the third wave and the Omicron variant.