Schools for Classes 10, 11, and 12 in Punjab are all set to open from July 26, with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announcing further relaxations, including increase in the number of people 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 those teachers and staff shall be allowed to be physically present who are fully vaccinated. Physical presence of the students shall be purely at the consent of the parents and 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 2nd August 2021, the Chief Minister announced, pointing out that the Cambridge University has predicted that the cases shall further decline in the coming weeks.With respect to social gatherings, the Chief Minister said artists/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 that the month wise whole genome sequencing has shown that more than 90% is 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.