Jammu: All schools in Leh district were closed for 15 days from Saturday after Ladakh reported 71 fresh cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day rise in the past over two months, taking the overall infection tally to 20,702, officials said.
A majority of the new cases were detected from Druk Padma Karpo School Shey, prompting the District Development Commissioner (Leh) Shrikant Balasaheb Suse to notify the school campus as a containment zone to stop further spread of the infection, they said.
Suse, who is also the chairman of Leh district disaster management authority, ordered closure of all government and private schools in the district for 15 days from September 18 to October 2.
In an order issued late Friday, the district magistrate said the decision was taken in view of reporting of fresh COVID-19 cases in schools and in the interest of the public health and safety.
However, the order, said online classes would be encouraged with Covid standard operating procedures (SOPS).
Leh’s chief medical officer and chief education officer have been directed to ensure that the students leaving from residential schools or hostels for their homes are mandatorily screened for RT-PCR test.
The students have to undergo home quarantine along with their family members for seven days irrespective of their results, the order said, adding that “any violation of the directions shall invite strict action under relevant sections of DM Act, 2005.”
Of the 71 new cases, the officials said 70 case, including dozens of students were detected in Leh and one in Kargil.
There are now 109 active cases in Ladakh, including 106 in Leh and three in Kargil, they said.
The officials said three Covid patients — two in Leh and one in Kargil – were discharged after successful treatment, taking the total number of cured patients to 20,386.
Ladakh has registered 207 COVID-related deaths — 149 in Leh and 58 in Kargil — since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.