Gujarat: Schools for Classes 9 to 11 allowed to reopen from July 26; shopkeepers to be vaccinated

This decision was taken by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani during the meeting of the state cabinet, an official release said.
For representational purpose. (File Photo | AP)
For representational purpose. (File Photo | AP)

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Thursday allowed physical reopening of schools for the students of Classes 9 to 11 from July 26 with 50 per cent seating capacity.

This decision was taken by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani during the meeting of the state cabinet, an official release said.

Students who are ready to attend the physical classes at school will have to submit a consent form signed by their parents.

While it is not mandatory to attend these physical classes, the state government made it clear that the ongoing system of imparting education through online mode for these standards will also continue.

Schools have been instructed to follow all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to coronavirus, such as wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing, it said.

Last week, the state government had allowed reopening of schools for Class 12, colleges and technical institutions in the wake of significant drop in coronavirus cases.

On Thursday, Gujarat recorded 34 new cases and zero deaths as per the government figures.

As more than 15 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine are still available with the Gujarat government, a special vaccination drive will be conducted on July 25 for shopkeepers and those associated with other commercial activities, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the state government had announced that people associated with the business of hotels, malls, shops, salons and restaurants are required to get their first dose of vaccine by July 31.

"Till now, we have administered 3.01 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The Centre had sent additional doses as per our request. As a result, we still have a stock of 15.18 lakh doses and around 2.5 lakh doses arrive almost every day," said Patel, who handles the Health portfolio.

Since shopkeepers and others are required to take the first dose before July 31 as per the Home Department's notification, the government has decided to conduct a special drive for them this Sunday (July 25), he said, adding that vaccines will be administered at 1,800 centres.

Apart from shopkeepers and others mentioned in the notification, teaching staff of coaching centres, library staff, drivers and conductors of state bus transport, people working in cinemas and sportspersons will also be inoculated on Sunday, the minister said.

The state government had last week announced that COVID-19 vaccination will not be conducted in the state on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Vaccination was halted on Wednesdays on account of "Mamata Diwas", which is observed as part of the ongoing universal immunisation programme for pregnant women, children and infants, while Sundays have been declared as a holiday for the health staff.

This new system came into effect last week.

Prior to that, vaccination drive was being conducted on all days.

The state on Thursday recorded 34 fresh cases of COVID-19 that raised the tally of infections to 8,24,608, an official from the state health department said.

At least 53 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the count of recoveries to 8,14,162, while the toll stood at 10,076 with no fresh casualties, the official said.

The state currently has 370 active cases, he said, adding that the rate of recovery stands at 98.73 per cent.

Meanwhile, four new cases were reported in the adjoining Union Territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu in the last 24 hours.

With this, the region's tally stands at 10,596, with 35 patients undergoing treatment, an official release stated.

Gujarat has so far administered 3.06 crore doses of coronavirus vaccine to the eligible population, and of these, 5.08 lakh doses were given on Thursday alone.

Gujarat COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 8,24,608, new cases 34, deaths 10,076 discharged 8,14,162 active cases 370 and people tested so far - figures not released.

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