Aizawl: Mizoram will again close schools for students of Class 8 and below, a month after they reopened in March, following a spike in novel coronavirus cases in the state.

The state government has again banned night church service and extended the duration of the existing night curfew in all district headquarters, including state capital Aizawl, in view of the second wave of COVID-19 spread.

According to the new guidelines issued on Friday night, only online classes will be used for students of Class 8 and below as normal classes for them have been suspended with immediate effect.

The proposed opening of schools for the new academic session 2021-2022 on May 4 for all classes (Nursery to Class 12) is also cancelled or reversed until further order, the order said, adding that the order covers all schools, including those under CBSE.

However, ongoing exams for Classes 9 to 12 will continue till completion.

Schools for students of Classes 5 to 8 reopened on March 1 and Classes 3 and 4 on April 1. Universities and colleges are subjected to the decision of state higher and technical education department.

Also read: Mizoram: 12 cops who returned from Assam among 36 new COVID-19 cases

The new guidelines, which came into effect on Saturday, banned night church service and also extended the duration of night curfew from 8:30 pm to 4 am in all district headquarters.

Earlier, night church service was allowed twice a week with the opening of religious places in the state in March. Congregational singing and any singing in the form of solo, duet and quartet are strictly prohibited in church and any other gatherings, the order said.

Churches, cinema halls, auditoriums, community halls, picnic spot and other resort places are allowed to open with 50 per cent of their sitting capacity. The number of attendees at funeral, wedding and any social or political gathering is fixed at 50.

Shops, hotels, restaurants and other business establishments will be opened under strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The guidelines said that all returnees from other states will be screened with Rapid Antigen Test and those tested negative will be placed under home isolation for seven days self-monitoring. However, the returnees will not need to go for home quarantine if they test negative through RT-PCR and Truenat laboratories.

Returnees from abroad or new Covid-19 variant affected states will have to be quarantined at designated facilities. However, if they already stayed 10 days in the country after their arrival from abroad and accordingly tested negative for Covid-19 while screening at entry points here, they will be allowed to go for seven days’ home isolation.

Quarantine is not mandatory for people, who visit the state on a short stay (not longer than 96 hours) provided they possess COVID-19 negative certificate from ICMR recognised RT-PCR or Truenat or CBNAT labs, not older than 96 hours upon their arrival in the state.

Public interview for ministers is suspended for the time being, the order also said.

Mizoram on Saturday reported 25 new Covid-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 4,583. The state now has 115 active cases, while 4,457 people have recovered from the infection. At least 11 people have succumbed to the virus so far.

Also read: Mizoram: Prevailing swine flu spread through imported pigs says Minister

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