Guwahati: All academic restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 protocols will be withdrawn from educational institutions from elementary school to university levels from January 1 in Assam, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday. The prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state has improved considerably with currently a very low positivity rate following which it has been decided to lift the restrictions, the minister said at a press conference here.
The staggered system of attendance of different classes will be withdrawn with regular classes at all levels resuming from the start of the new year, he said. Wearing of masks, use of sanitisers and social distancing will, however, continue to remain in place, he said.
The Education Department will issue a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this regard, the minister said. Educational institutions in Assam were closed since March 20 and staggered classes were held from September 1, though elementary schools remained closed.
The minister had recently announced that elementary classes will begin from January 1 while hostels of colleges and universities and for residential students of Class 10 and Class 12 will start from December 15. The number of cases has come down considerably and Kamrup Metropolitan district which had the highest number of cases is also reporting an average of 20 to 40 positive cases daily and most of the patients are air travellers, he said.
The health department will continue to monitor the situation and if there is a spike in cases, action will be taken accordingly. Assam has so far reported a total of 2,14,657 positive cases with 1,002 deaths due to the virus. A total of 2,10,171 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the state till date. There are 3481 active cases at present in Assam and three patients migrated out of the state.