The Kerala government has announced that lessons for Classes one to nine will be held on online mode from January 21 onwards, among other restrictions imposed in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
A slew decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The government said that a meeting will be held after two weeks to decide on a possible extension to the online school lessons.
Under the guidelines, headmasters and principals have been empowered with shutting down schools for a few weeks in event of emergence of COVID clusters on school premises.
The government has instructed the education and health departments to ensure the delivery of vaccines to schools for students in Classes 10, 11 and 12.
Government, aided, public sector and cooperative sector institutions have been asked to conduct all official events online, while pregnant government employees have been given the go ahead to work from home.
District collectors have been asked to identify COVID clusters and issue restrictions.
The government has restricted the number of people attending social, cultural and community events to 50 in districts which have a test positivity rate above 20 per cent. Public events will be banned if the positivity rate in districts go beyond 30 per cent.
Businesses have been urged to promote online booking and sales while malls have been asked to allow only one person per 25 sq feet.
The state on Friday logged 16,338 fresh cases and 20 deaths. Kerala’s Test Positivity Rate stands at 23.7 per cent while active cases have increased to 76,819. The health ministry said that of the 16,338 cases, 15,228 had contracted the virus through contacts, while the source of infections in 859 cases remains unknown.
Health Minister Veena George, however, has said that only 4.4 per cent of the active cases have required cases.