The Telangana High Court on Wednesday, February 3, directed the educational institutions in the state to conduct online classes in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. Three days after the educational institutions reopened across the state, the court directed them to conduct online classes along with physical classes for those students who prefer the virtual mode in view of the pandemic situation. The court gave the directions while hearing petitions relating to the COVID-19 situation in the state.
Despite the COVID-19 threat persisting, the state government announced reopening of the educational institutions from February 1, after extended Sankranti vacation for 23 days.
All schools, colleges and universities reopened but the attendance remained poor as the state continues to report a large number of COVID-19 cases. With many students and even teachers down with the COVID-19 symptoms, a majority of the private schools and colleges have not resumed physical classes.
Even in the government-run institutions, the attendance percentage remained around 42%. According to the education department, about 23 lakh of 55 lakh students in 38,307 schools attended the offline classes on February 2. Many parents are still reluctant to send their children to schools due to the persisting COVID-19 threat. Due to spurt in COVID-19 cases, the government had declared early Sankranti vacation from January 8 to 16 and later extended it till January 30.
The state's daily COVID-19 tally remained more than 2,500. On Wednesday, the number of cases stood at 2,646. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is about three percent. However, in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, the TPR is about five percent. GHMC and surrounding urban districts of Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri continue to report 60% of the daily cases.
Meanwhile, the High Court also asked the authorities to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 rules in crowded places in Hyderabad. It directed the government to make sure that the norms are adhered to by all in bars and restaurants.
The court also asked the government to take steps to implement COVID-19 rules during Sammakka-Sarakka jatra. Similarly, it issued directions for enforcing COVID-19 curbs during 'Samatha Murthy Sahasrabdhi' celebrations on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The government was told to make sure that there is no spike in COVID-19 cases once again due to negligence. Advocate General was told to inform the court about the action taken against those violating safety norms. Directing the government to submit a report on this in two weeks, the court adjourned the hearing to February 20.