Chhattisgarh CM chairs meet to contain surge in COVID-19 cases

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Raipur, Mar 21 (PTI) Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday chaired a meeting of his cabinet ministers and senior officials to ensure guidelines are enforced to check the spread of the virus in view of the upcoming Holi festival and wedding season.

Chhattisgarh on Saturday recorded 1,273 cases, the highest single-day spike in this year.

The CM also directed that the number of daily COVID-19 tests be increased as well as the vaccination drive be expedited, a state public relations department official said.

Discussions were held on closing schools, anganwadi centres, colleges and universities and holding online exams except Class X and XII board examinations, he said.

Talking to reporters after the meet, state Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey said, 'In view of the present situation, immediate directives have been issued to restrict children from visiting anganwadi centres and students from coming to schools and colleges, which have been asked to continue academic activities online.' However, official orders are yet to be issued for shutting these facilities, and schools, colleges and universities, which were shut since the coronavirus-induced lockdown imposed in the country last year, were reopened from February 15, though only students of Classes IX to XII had to attend.

During the meeting, Baghel reviewed arrangements made to contain the spread of the virus and the status of the vaccination drive, the official added.

'The CM asked various departments to hold meetings and issue necessary guidelines in view of Holi festivals, wedding season and other social functions,' he said.

The state has a caseload of 3,23,153, as on Saturday, including 3,11,520 recoveries, and 3,940 deaths. PTI TKP BNM BNM