The Telangana government has ordered the closure of Intermediate colleges in the state until further notice. The Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) on Wednesday issued an order directing junior colleges to remain closed amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, a day after the state government shut physical classes in schools and colleges.
The TSBIE said that online learning and distance learning will continue as earlier. The board has warned of strict action against those found violating the government order to close institutions. Managements and principals found violating the rules could face disaffiliation of their institutions, the TSBIE said.
While several educational institutions have been closed, the state government has insisted that another lockdown has not been recommended. Speaking to The Hindu, Telangana Director of Public Health DR G Srinivasa Rao said that the department does not recommend another lockdown despite the rising cases. He insisted that the public must maintain physical distancing, wear a mask and avoid crowded locations.
On Wednesday, the state reported 431 new infections in a 24-hour span. This is the highest single-day count this year and has pushed the state's cumulative tally of COVID-19 positive cases to 3.04 lakh.
According to the daily media bulletin released by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, two persons succumbed to the virus on Wednesday, taking the death toll in the state to 1,676. The fatality rate in the state remained at 0.54 % against the national average of 1.4%, the state government said.
The statistics show that cases are rising across the state. During the last 24-hour span that ended at 8 pm on Tuesday, the Greater Hyderabad region alone reported 111 new cases, the highest this year. Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts bordering the state capital reported 37 and 31 cases respectively.
Districts also saw a surge. Nirmal reported the second-highest number of cases at 32, followed by Mechal Malakjgiri (31), Rangareddy (27) and Nizamabad (18). Nirmal, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Mancherial and other districts also saw a spike.
The total number of active cases rose to 3,352, including 1,395 who are in-home/institutional isolation. Authorities have also ramped up testing. A total of 70,280 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.
Admissions in both government and private hospitals treating COVID-19 have also gone up. Bed status in 62 government hospitals shows that 598 out of 8,419 beds were occupied. Similarly, in 215 private hospitals, 1,359 out of 7,594 beds were occupied.
With IANS inputs