DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand state government has decided to close all schools, government and privately run till March 31, 2020, given Coronavirus scare.
Meenakshi Sundaram, secretary education of Uttarakhand said, "Orders have been issued to close down schools till March 31 as a precautionary move. We are committed to the safety of our children and people."
However, board examinees will be appearing for their examinations according to a predecided schedule.
Uttrakhand has around 17,000 schools with over 4 lakh students.
Earlier, this week, the state health department had 'advised' the state government officials close the schools as a precautionary move.
Meanwhile, 32 new suspects in the hill state have been put under observation and tests are being conducted to ensure that they are free of the fatal infection.
However, the fact that to date, not a single person has been tested positive for the infection keeps the morale of the government machinery high.
The state government had already issued an alert and the Indian Army along with paramilitary forces have been roped in.
As a precautionary move, biometric attendance had already been suspended in all state government departments and schools to check the infection from spreading.
In another cautious step, the state government has suspended all the trade activities with China to avoid proximity with the country from where the virus is said to have originated.
More than 18,000 people have already been scanned/tested for the viral infection on border posts at border districts of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand state health department has created more than 2,000 isolation wards across the state to deal with the outbreak.
In the last two weeks, around 700 people have arrived from different countries in Uttarakhand including Indians and foreign tourists while over 400 were constantly monitored for three weeks to ensure that they are free of any infection.
Amita Upreti, director-general, the state health department said, "The health department is ready with requisite arrangements to tackle the situation. We have sufficient staff and facilities to deal with it."