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Haryana allows all universities to reopen for in-person classes, later recants order

The order for extension of the partial-lockdown was issued by the chief secretary, Vijai Vardhan, who is also the chairman of Haryana’s State Executive Committee of State Disaster Management Authority.

The Haryana government on Sunday extended the partial Covid-19 lockdown (Mahamari Alert-Surakshit Haryana) for another fortnight (till October 18), while allowing various relaxations and allowing the reopening of universities initially, before recanting the order.

The order for extension of the partial-lockdown was issued by the chief secretary, Vijai Vardhan, who is also the chairman of Haryana’s State Executive Committee of State Disaster Management Authority.

Though the administration initially allowed residential universities to conduct offline classes, but only after adopting SOPs for Covid-appropriate behaviour, it later withdrew its order.

“Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) are allowed to open for students with 100 per cent attendance with strict adherence of requisite social distancing norms, regular sanitisation of the premises, Covid appropriate behavioural norms and guidelines as indicated in the SOPs released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The Department of Skill Development and Industrial Training, Haryana, will release guidelines for implementation of these orders immediately,” the initial order released by the administration read. All hostel students will also be given priority for getting fully vaccinated.

Later, on Sunday evening, the chief secretary, however, issued a “corrigendum” to his earlier order, which read, “Fully residential universities in the state are directed to continue conducting classes online till further orders. The matter will be reviewed after some time to decide whether classes in the physical mode will be allowed. In the meanwhile, the administration of the fully residential universities may endeavour to get all students, faculty members and staff (including the outsourced ones) fully vaccinated and share the progress with the Departments of Higher Education, Technical Education and Medical Education and Research as the case may be”.

Regarding the upcoming festival season, the order reads, “Various festivities will follow one after the other till December 31 — such as Navratri, Dussehra, Milad-un-Nabi/Eid-e-Milad, Karwa Chauth, Diwali, Govardhan Puja, Bhaiya Dooj, Chhath Puja, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Christmas and New Year’s eve. This is a critical period as there may be a tendency to violate Covid-appropriate behaviour during festivals, resulting in large gatherings, events, fairs. Therefore, adherence to guidelines to allow festivities in a safe and Covid-appropriate manner, especially in religious places, maybe strictly enforced by the district administration”.

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