In view of the rising Covid-19 cases in Gujarat, the state government Friday decided to suspend offline sessions for classes 1 to 9 till January 31 and also extended the night curfew timings in 10 cities including Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat from 10 pm to 6 am from Saturday.

Gujarat on Friday reported 5,396 new Covid-19, of which 2,281 and 1,350 were from Ahmedabad and Surat cities respectively. For the second consecutive day, no Omicron case was reported in the state.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday held a meeting to review preparedness in handling the Covid-19 surge in 11 jurisdictions which includes five cities and six districts. The virtual meeting included municipal commissioners of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Gandhinagar and district collectors of Kheda, Anand, Bharuch, Navsari, Valsad and Kutch, along with district development officers and health officers of these jurisdictions, according to a press release from the state government. Instructions to the administrations included increasing the number of daily tests.

As per the new advisory released by the state government on Friday night, the new night curfew timings have been kept from 10 pm to 6 am for ten cities Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Anand and Nadiad. Earlier, the curfew timings were from 11 pm to 5 am in eight cities and did not include Anand and Nadiad, districts that have also reported cases of Omicron variants.

The new Covid regulations are to be implemented from January 8 to January 15, as per the state government advisory.

“Under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, the core committee of state government took a decision after doing an analysis of the current covid situation in Gujarat. The new night curfew timings for 10 cities will be 10 pm to 6 am every night from January 8 to January 15 (sic),” read the new notification order by the state government.

“All shops, commercial organisations, shopping complexes, market yards, weekly markets, bazaars and haats, hair cutting salons, spa and beauty parlours will be allowed to operate till 10 pm. Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to operate with 75% seating capacity till 10pm while home delivery systems will be allowed in hotels and restaurants till 11pm”, read the order for the entire state.

This is the first time after July 30 in 2021 when India saw the second wave of coronavirus, that the Gujarat state government has put the cap at night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am in eight metropolitan areas cities

In the night curfew hours, people associated with emergency services, medical, paramedical and health staff, people associated with oxygen production and supply, patients and their kin, people travelling to catch flights, trains and buses, journalists and newspaper distributors, staff associated with fuel pump and fuel production, private security and other essential services have been given relaxation.

In a circular issued late Friday night, the education department declared all schools to suspend offline education for Classes 1-9 from January 8 till 31,2022. Only online teaching mode is to be followed for these classes. This applies to all government, self-financed and grant-in-aid schools affiliated to all boards across the state.


However, for classes 10 and 12, the state education department decided to con- tinue with the existing teaching pattern of both offline and online classes. Attendance is not mandatory for these offline classes and schools have to take written consent letters from parents of students willing to attend offline classes. For students not attending offline classes, the schools have to arrange online classes, the circular issued stated.

Meanwhile, coaching centres from class 9 to post graduate level for various entrance and competitive exams will be allowed to operate with students according to 50 per cent of the seating capacity. Meanwhile, entrance and competitive exams for high schools and colleges will be allowed as per the SOPs of Covid-19 guidelines.

The state government has allowed an assembly of maximum 400 attendees in any political, social, religious, educational and cultural event in open spaces. However in closed spaces, a maximum 400 persons with 50 percent of the seating capacity of the venue will be allowed.

For marriages, the state government has allowed a maximum of 400 persons in open spaces and in closed spaces, a maximum of 400 persons with 50 percent of the seating capacity of the venue.

The marriages have to be compulsorily registered at Digital Gujarat Portal, read the advisory. Similarly, in funerals, a maximum of 100 persons will be allowed.

Public and private buses will be allowed to run with 75 percent of seating capacity and they will be exempted from night curfew restrictions.

The state government has allowed gyms, cinema halls, swimming pools, water parks, libraries, auditoriums and entertainment places to operate with 50 per cent capacity.

Among those who tested positive for Covid-19 Friday is former BJP youth wing Chief Rutvij Patel.

Surat continues to see a large number of school students testing positive for Covid-19, with 58 students. testing positive on January 6 and another 98 testing positive on January 7, according to Surat Municipal Corporation deputy municipal commissioner of health Dr. Ashish Naik. According to Naik, of the 98 who tested positive on January 7, 38 were from three schools and the 58 who tested positive on December 6 were fom10-11 schools.

Despite an increase in tests conducted in Ahmedabad, with 17,000 odd tests conducted on January 6, weekly test positivity rate of Ahmedabad continues to increase, currently at 13.8 percent, figuring among the 59 districts across the country with more than 10 percent weekly test positivity rate. Ahmedabad city currently has 120 areas under micro containment, with the addition of 21 new micro containment zones on Thurs

day. On Friday, Health Minister Rushikesh Patel, who has also been given charge of Ahmedabad for Covid-19 management, is scheduled to preside over a review meeting slated to be held at Sabarmati Riverfronthouse.