Nagaland allows high schools, colleges to reopen

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Kohima, Jul 16 (PTI) The Nagaland government on Friday allowed higher-secondary schools and colleges to reopen from July 26 as it eased restrictions with the third phase of 'unlocking'.

Government spokesperson Neiba Kronu said the third phase of 'unlocking' would start on July 18 and continue till August 1.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) on COVID-19 headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, he said.

Nagaland began the 'unlock' with the first phase from July 1 to 7, followed by the second phase from July 8 to 17.

The Northeastern state reported 95 new COVID-19 cases on Friday with an overall positivity rate of 10.83 per cent.

The commitee took the decision after taking the views of the District Task Forces (DTFs), Kronu said.

In this phase, higher-secondary schools and colleges will be allowed to start physical classes from July 26, the minister said.

All the teaching and non-teaching staff have to be inoculated with at least the first dose or provide COVID- negative report every 15 days, he said.

However, no such norm has been announced for the students.

Any school and college willing to reopen have to take the approval of the respective DTFs, Kronu said.

Physical classes for students of standard 10 and below will continue to remain suspended and the government would decide on it after August 1, he said.

The government has also decided to welcome tourists who have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to Nagaland, he said.

Mass gatherings would continue with earlier restrictions of maximum 50 people in halls and up to 100 people in open spaces, Kronu said, adding that it remains the same for churches and other places of worship.

The committee also decided to compulsorily vaccinate all the state government employees starting with those working in the state Civil Secretariat and the Directorates, Kronu said.

Any employee not willing to get vaccinated will have to provide a COVID-negative test report every 15 days, he said.

There is no shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in the state, and therefore we want all government servants to come forward and get inoculated which will help in fighting the pandemic, Advisor Mmhonlumo Kikon said.

People returning to the state will no more require to undergo COVID test or quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, he said.

However, those who have taken only one dose and at least 15 days have passed after taking the dose will not require to be tested at the time of entry to the state but will have to undergo quarantine for seven days, he said.

Kikon said that in this phase there would be stricter enforcement of the norms and violators would be penalised accordingly. PTI NBS SOM SOM

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