Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: With the number of COVID-19 positive cases increasing in Odisha, the State government has announced that the schools and colleges across the State will remain closed till the end of the Durga Puja holidays.
The decision was announced after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the COVID-19 pandemic situation through video conferencing on Wednesday.
“Keeping in view the concerns expressed by students and parents, it has been decided to keep schools and colleges closed till the end of Durga Puja holidays,” according to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.
The five-day Durga Puja festival is slated to be held between October 22 and October 26.
The Chief Minister had also written to the Centre seeking postponement of the NEET and JEE examinations which are scheduled to be held in September.
Patnaik also spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone on Thursday requesting him intervene in the matter and defer the two examinations in view of the pandemic.
The State government has started online classes for students, but about 22 lakh of the total 60 lakh students in government and government aided schools were able to avail of the facility due to lack of proper internet connectivity.The higher education department too has started online classes for college and university students.
COVID-19 situation in Odisha
Meanwhile, 3,384 new COVID-19 positive cases were detected in 24 hours ending at Wednesday midnight taking the total number of cases to 90,986, the State Health Department said on Thursday.
Of the total cases detected so far, 62,813 persons have recovered and 27,672 are under treatment at COVID hospitals and care centres in different parts of the State.
As many as 501 of those tested positive have died till date – 448 due to COVID-19 and 53 due to other ailments.
The State government has ramped up testing and new COVID care centres are also being opened for those testing positive for coronavirus.