PATNA: With Covid cases rising, the state government has issued fresh guidelines allowing shops to remain open only till 7 pm. The order came into immediate effect from Friday.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also extended the closure of all educational institutions including schools, colleges and coaching centres till April 18.
After chairing a high-level meeting with officials on Friday, the Chief Minister said, "We are ready to take whatever steps may be required to check the spike in the positive cases. A massive testing has started at all places for the passengers returning from Maharashtra (in particular)."
He added that in the next few days an all-party meeting will be held to decide further steps.
The CM categorically said that no decision was taken to impose night curfew or lockdown in the state. What was decided was to get people to adhere to safety measures through a mass mobilisation drive.
The Chief Minister said 17 passengers who had returned from Mumbai had tested positive in Patna. He added that if the situation deteriorates further in Bihar, more stringent steps will be taken to check the pandemic.
Principal health secretary Pratyay Amrit, who was also present at the media interaction, said that all religious places will remain closed till April 30 and restrictions have been imposed on gatherings and public events in view of the rising graph of Covid positive cases.
He also said that a special vaccination drive on mission mode will be carried out from April 11 to 14 to vaccinate at least 4 lakh people each on the four days.
"For special vaccination drive, additional vaccines have also been requested by the state government," Amrit said.
He said that only 35% attendance has been allowed in the government offices.
"Only 25% of customers will be allowed in restaurants and 50% in movie halls," he said.
"Restaurants and dhabas will be allowed to remain open after 7 pm but with only 25% of their capacity. But a total ban on home delivery or takeaway system in the state will remain effective," Pratyay Amrit said.