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Rajasthan imposes Covid curbs on political rallies, fairs, weddings; schools to be closed at Jaipur


JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government on Sunday capped the number of people attending political and other rallies, dharnas, fairs and weddings at 100 and ordered closure of schools in Jaipur city for classes 1 to 8, in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

The decisions were taken at a Covid review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot here.

Schools for classes 1 to 8 will be closed in Jaipur from January 3 to 9, while the other restrictions are applicable for entire Rajasthan and will come into force from 5 am on January 7, according to guidelines issued by the home department.

A maximum of 100 people will be allowed in marriage functions, public, political, social or educational meetings and processions, dharnas, fairs and such events, it stated.

Before organising any such event, information regarding the same will have to be uploaded on a web portal developed by the DoIT, it added.

People coming from abroad will have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR tests in Rajasthan and will have to be in institutional or home quarantine for seven days till test reports come negative for the virus.

Domestic travellers arriving in Rajasthan will have to produce double vaccine certificates or RT-PCR negative test reports not older than 72 hours, the guidelines stated.

Regular classroom activities for classes 1 to 8 in all private and government schools in the areas of Jaipur Greater and Jaipur Heritage municipal corporations will be closed from January 3 to 9, it added.

In other districts, collectors will take decisions about schools after discussion with the additional chief secretary of the education department.

Students of other classes and coaching institutes will have to produce written consent of their parents or guardians to attend physical classes.

Those who do not want to attend offline classes will not be pressured and online classes will continue, the guidelines stated.

A maximum of 100 guests will be allowed in marriage functions.

An additional 100 people (band parties etc.) will also be allowed.

The number of people attending funerals will be capped at 20, it said.

Covid-appropriate behaviour will have to be strictly followed at religious places and offerings such as flowers and prasad will be restricted, the guidelines said.

The government also directed all commercial establishments to ensure double vaccination of all staffers by January 31.

A night curfew will remain in force from 11 pm to 5 am in the state.

Rajasthan recorded 355 more cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including 224 from Jaipur alone.

With this, the total number of people found infected in the state increased to 9,56,883.

At present, 1,572 patients are under treatment in the state.

The level of vigilance and alertness maintained during the first and the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be followed now as well in view of the possibility of a third wave, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Sunday.

Till now, the state has managed its fight against the coronavirus excellently with cooperation from all quarters, and all possible steps will be taken to protect against the disease, he said.

Gehlot was interacting with religious leaders, public representatives, political leaders, social activists and NGOs via video-conferencing from his official residence.

The whole world faced a horrific situation due to the Delta variant of the virus during the second wave, he said, adding people had to deal with shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and life-saving medicines.

Even at this adverse time, Rajasthan saved many lives.

Medicines were flown in, and the situation was monitored at a high-level, he said.

In the last few days, the Omicron variant has spread in more than 125 countries, and as per experts, this variant is highly transmissible, Gehlot said, adding that people will have to be very careful and cautious.

Medical Minister Parsadi Lal Meena said Rajasthan has suggested to the Centre to expand the vaccination drive for teenagers in the 15-18 age group to include those above 12 so that the maximum number of children can be protected.

Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria said both the vaccine and the booster dose should be administered to all eligible people.

He also suggested limiting the number of attendees in events like weddings among others and taking appropriate measures for educational institutions.

Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra said the speed of vaccination should be increased further.