Shimla: In view of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in the country and in continuation of the various advisory/directions issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department, the state government has postponed all examinations and practicals scheduled upto 31st March, 2020 till further orders.

A Govt spokesperson said that all evaluation and related activities scheduled up to 31st March are also postponed till further orders. All teaching staff at all levels would not attend the respective educational institutions till 31st March, 2020 and are advised to stay at home. Only staff or teacher/headmasters/principals assigned administrative work would attend office and also comply with the general instructions issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department.

The spokesperson said that respective District Magistrates can requisite the services of the staff of Education Department, for Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities. Teaching staff including those who have been ordered to not to come to the institutions and have been advised to stay at home, would make themselves available to the respective District Magistrates in case they are ordered to do so. He said that these orders would come into force with immediate effect.

Taking preventive measures, the state government has already banned entry of tourists in the state. Govt has also imposed complete ban on organising of any religious, cultural, political and social functions and gatherings in the state. Major temples are also closed for general public.

Keeping tab on the hoarding of masks and sanitizers, the state government has fixed the prices of masks and sanitizer and state Chief Minister has cautioned to violate Govt’s order and assured general public to dealt sternly if anyone found guilty.

The State government also working on a mechanism to bring down the attendance of employees in major offices in the State so as to avoid overcrowding in these offices.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.