With Covid-19 cases falling sharply in the past couple of weeks, the UT administration on Tuesday decided to allow opening of colleges and universities from August, with a rider that all teaching and non-teaching staff, besides students, who turn up for physical classes have received at least one dose of vaccination, minimum two weeks ago.
The decision was taken in the Covid review meeting chaired by UT administrator VP Singh Badnore on Tuesday. The matter will be reviewed again in the coming days, as per the prevailing pandemic situation.
In an order issued on Tuesday evening, UT adviser Dharam Pal stated, “All institutions of higher learning, including university, colleges etc will be allowed to open for the next academic session starting from August, 2021.”
Colleges in Chandigarh have remained largely shut since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020. Some colleges reopened in November last year, but didn’t evoke much response from the students.
Panjab University (PU) had gone with online classes for both semesters of the current academic session. The varsity is yet to chalk out a plan for reopening, and it is still unclear whether PU will open for classroom teaching in the upcoming session.
Commercial events only after SDM nod
In the meeting, the administration also decided to allow commercial events, such as exhibitions, shows etc, only after prior permission from the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) concerned. There is a limit of 200 persons or 50% of the available space and strict adherence to Covid protocol for such events.
Badnore also directed the police to take strict action against protocol violators, particularly those found without masks at Sukhna Lake and public places.
During the meeting, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s director Dr Jagat Ram said almost all outpatient departments (OPDs) at the hospital have been opened up.
Dr Amandeep Kang, director, health services, stated that 7,09,180 doses of vaccines have been administered in Chandigarh so far. At least 77.25% of the eligible population has received the first dose while 20.4% has been inoculated with the second dose.
She also mentioned that the number of vaccinations has been increased in the city during the last week and about 8,800 persons are being vaccinated daily. Currently, about 38,000 doses are available in government hospitals and 46,700 doses are yet to be received from the Government of India during this month.
Kang further informed that during door-to-door survey-cum-vaccination drives in Dadumajra, Dhanas and Kishangarh, 3,000 people were vaccinated with the help of NGOs and municipal councillors of these areas. The same exercise will continue in other parts of the city, she said, and added that two CTU buses have also been converted into vaccination buses for the drive.