Coronavirus: Guj schools, theatres to be shut for 2 weeks

Ahmedabad, Mar 15 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Sunday ordered the closure of educational institutions, cinema halls and swimming pools for two weeks starting Monday as part of preventivemeasures against the novel coronavirus threat, a top official said.

The state has not reported a single positive case of coronavirus as yet.

An official said action would be taken against those spitting in public as part of the measures to curb the spread of the virus.

'For two weeks starting from Monday, all educational institutions, including schools, colleges, tuition classes, Anganwadis etc will remain closed. Teachers and office staff will attend the institutions but classes will remain suspended for a period of two weeks,' Chief Secretary Anil Mukim said.

'All swimming pools and cinema halls across the state will remain closed till March 29, starting with immediate effect,' he said after a review meeting on coronavirus held in Gandhinagar.

'Coronavirus is transferred through droplets of the contaminatedperson. Considering this, the state government has banned spitting in the open. Those who are caught spitting in the open will be fined Rs 500. This will be enforced by municipal corporations and municipalities in urban areas and gram panchayats in rural areas,' he said.

The state government has asked private and religious organisations to suspend any event that will lead to large gatherings, he said.

The Gujarat government on Friday invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act which empowers officials to take several measures, including lockdown and quarantine, to stop an outbreak.

The health department had announced that all seminars and conferences organised by the government will remain suspended till March 31. PTI KA PD BNM NSK NSK