TN govt withdraws move to shut primary schools

Chennai: The Tamilnadu government today withdrew its decision to declare holiday till 31 March for pre kindergarten, LKG and UKG classes in public and private institutions in view of the coronavirus scare.

According to sources, the School Education Department will take further decision on it after holding discussion with Health Department officials.

On Friday, the government announced that pre kindergarten, LKG and UKG classes in public and private institutions would remain shut upto 31 March in view of the coronavirus scare.

A government notification, while stating this, also said that institutions bordering Kerala, which had reported the most number of coronavirus positive cases in South India, should declare holidays for students upto Class V.

”In Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Theni, Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Nilgiri districts, there will be no classes for students upto class V till 31 March,” it said.

Earlier, Chief Minister Edapppadi K Palaniswami reviewed the State’s preventive measures as a follow up to the 6 March exercise. Health and Family welfare minister C Vijayabhaskar, who was also present, said the Union Health Ministry was in constant touch with the state government and monitoring its preparedness to control the outbreak.

”As you may be aware WHO announced #Covid19 as pandemic. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry is in constant touch with TN Health and monitoring our preparedness,” he said in his social media accounts.

”I appeal to the public to cooperate with the Government actions, avoid travel and practice hygiene measures. If there are any symptoms, visit a doctor,” he said.

The Chief Minister had on 12 March had sought to allay fears over coronavirus, saying the State was home to the best medical practitioners in the country and people need not panic.

Vijayabhaskar has been reviewing the measures taken by the department ever since the state reported its first incident on 7 March, in which a 45-year-old engineer tested positive for COVID19.

He had urged people to cooperate with the government initiatives and also advised against taking up travel and also to follow hygiene measures.

Tamilnadu had reported its first coronavirus case on 7 March when a 45-year-old engineer from Kancheepuram had tested positive after returning from Oman. However, he tested negative and is expected to be discharged in the coming days.

Chief Secretary K Shanmugam had said the government has instructed private hospitals in the state to set up isolation wards and state transport corporations and the Railways to screen passengers. “..since neighbouring two states (Kerala and Karnataka) have reported high cases of coronavirus, Tamilnadu has to be extra cautious in screening people moving inter state,” he had said.