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Coronavirus scare: Delhi shuts primary schools till March 31, suspends biometric of govt employees

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Thursday (March 5, 2020) ordered the closure of all primary schools in the national capital till March 31 as a precautionary measure as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 30 across the country.  “As a precautionary measure to prevent the possibility of spread of COVID-19 amongst our children,…

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Thursday (March 5, 2020) ordered the closure of all primary schools in the national capital till March 31 as a precautionary measure as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 30 across the country. 

“As a precautionary measure to prevent the possibility of spread of COVID-19 amongst our children, Delhi Government has directed the immediate closure of all primary schools (Govt/ aided/ private/MCD/NDMC) till 31/3/20,” Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in a tweet.

As a precautionary measure to prevent the possibility of spread of COVID-19 amongst our children, Delhi Government has directed immediate closure of all primary schools (Govt/ aided/ private/MCD/NDMC) till 31/3/20

— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) March 5, 2020

All Delhi government, aided, private and schools run by civic bodies will remain shut, said Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Government also temporarily suspended biometric attendance in its offices in wake of coronavirus threat.

The Delhi government on Thursday advised head of departments (HoDs), autonomous bodies and municipal corporations to suspend the biometric attendance system in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

“A letter has been written to principal secretaries, secretaries, autonomous bodies and municipal corporations for the suspension of biometric attendance in view of coronavirus threat,” an official said.

Amid rising cases of coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday asked states to form rapid response teams at district, block and village levels, stating cases of community transmission have been observed.

 Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Thursday said state governments have been asked to form rapid response teams to deal with the deadly coronavirus.

“A total of 29 cases of coronavirus have been detected in the country. Out of these, three people have recovered and are being discharged. Since some cases of community transmission have also been observed it has been decided to actively involve district collectors. Also, the state governments have been asked to form rapid response teams,” he told reporters. “We have made screening mandatory at all airports since yesterday evening. Additional staff has been provided by the states,” he added.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, while briefing Rajya Sabha on coronavirus outbreak, said that till March 4, as many as 28,529 people were brought under community surveillance and are being monitored.

The Union Minister also said that India initiated the required preparedness and action regarding the outbreak since January 17, much before the advice of the World Health Organization. 

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