Auditoriums, assembly halls in Delhi schools allowed to be used for training, meeting purposes: DDMA

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) The auditoriums and assembly halls in Delhi schools have been allowed to be used for training and meeting purposes, but physical teaching and learning will remain suspended, according to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

The Delhi government has said in a statement that it will start the preparations and planning for the reopening of schools and other educational institutions now.

An order issued by the DDMA on Saturday said the auditoriums and assembly halls in schools and educational institutions can be used for training and meeting purposes with a 50-per cent seating capacity.

'There will be strict adherence to the standard operating procedure and other guidelines of the government, and compliance of Covid-appropriate behaviour,' the city government said and added that the decision was taken by the DDMA owing to a considerable decline in the number of COVID-19 cases and the overall improvement of the pandemic situation in the city.

The DDMA order provides an opportunity to the educational institutions to resume their academic preparations, including trainings and meetings, for reopening whenever the situation improves further.

The decision will give a boost to the ongoing education projects of the Delhi government like teacher training in the offline mode also in a phased manner. Also, the government schools have planned staggered parent-teacher meetings from July 19-31, the order said.

All schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will, however, remain closed and online or distance learning will be allowed, it added.

Other prohibited activities and services include cinema halls, multiplexes, spas, theatres, entertainment parks, political, social, cultural events and such other gatherings. These were banned with the imposition of a lockdown in Delhi on April 19 due to a rising number of Covid cases.

Public transports, including the Delhi Metro, will continue to operate with a 50-per cent seating capacity. The DTC and cluster buses will also run with a 50-per cent seating capacity, the order stated.

The activities that are prohibited and restricted will remain so till 5 am on July 26, it said.

The Delhi government started a phased unlock process, lifting the curbs on construction and manufacturing activities with onsite workers, from May 31.

With further improvement in the situation, more activities and services, including shops, markets, malls, restaurants, Delhi Metro trains and public transport buses, were opened with restricted timings and capacity.

Last week, the government allowed reopening stadiums and sports complexes without spectators.

The number of Covid cases and the positivity rate have registered a steady decline in the last few weeks, paving the way for a gradual reopening of various economic activities. PTI VIT/GJS RC

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