All schools, hostels in Madhya Pradesh shut till Jan 31, pre-board exams to be held in ‘take-home’ format

Amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the Madhya Pradesh government on Friday issued fresh guidelines, as part of which all schools and hostels for Classes 1 to 12 will remain shut in the state till January 31, an official said.

The guidelines were issued after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reviewed the coronavirus situation in the state with the crisis management committee.

The CM also informed that the MP board pre-board exams for Classes 10 and 12, scheduled to begin from January 20, would be conducted as per schedule. However, the examinations would now be conducted in  ‘take-home exam’ format. Schools have been instructed to make the necessary arrangement for the same

“Besides the closure of schools, the state government also banned all religious and commercial fairs and rallies,” additional chief secretary Dr Rajesh Rajora said.

Only 250 people will be allowed to attend political, cultural, religious, social, educational, entertainment and other such events, he said.

Programmes can be held with only up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity in closed spaces. Also, sports events can be organised with 50 per cent of the capacity of stadiums, the official said.

People need to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, he said, adding the fresh guidelines are in addition to the restrictions that are already in force.

The COVID-19 tally in Madhya Pradesh rose to 8,14,473 on Thursday with the detection of 4,031 new cases, while the death toll increased to 10,543 after three more patients succumbed to the infection, a health department official said.

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