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JNU issues fresh guidelines for students, staff as Covid-19 cases surge in Delhi

Amid surge in novel coronavirus cases in the national capital, the Jawaharlal Nehru University issued fresh virus-related guidelines for students and staff members, including mandatory thermal screening and wearing of face mask at hostels and inside all buildings on campus.

Delhi recorded 3,567 COVID-19 cases on Saturday and the positive rate continued to rise to 4.48 per cent from 4.11% a day ago while 10 more people succumbed to the virus.

The national capital has seen an increase in cases with 3,594 cases being reported on Friday, the highest daily count this year, 2,790 cases on Thursday, 1,819 cases on Wednesday and 992 cases on Tuesday, according to official data.

In a circular, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) said face masks will be mandatory for students and employees across the campus, including at hostels, library, administrative buildings and on the road.

“Students and employees will be allowed in hostels, administrative buildings, school buildings and the Dr B R Ambedkar Central Library and other buildings and public spaces, including shopping complexes and walking on the road, if they are found wearing the mask,” it said.

JNU instructed faculty and staff members to use face masks at all times “to set an example” with regard to observing COVID-19 protocols.

Shopkeepers and canteen staff have also been instructed to wear face masks.

The circular said that “any violation would attract closure of shop or canteen for two days initially, and further violation will be dealt with strictly as per guidelines and norms of the government of India, the Delhi government and the University notification, etc”.

Hand sanitisation and thermal screening have been made mandatory at all key points, including at schools, special centres, hostels, the administration building and the central library, it said.

“Vendors visiting science schools, the Advanced Instrumentation Research Facility (AIRF), special centres, administration building and other establishments will not be allowed to visit the labs unless authorised by the relevant respective offices,” the circular said.

The university may review guidelines for reopening if cases “rise exponentially”, it said.

School, colleges and other educational institutes have been closed from March 2020 on account of the pandemic outbreak. However, they were gradually reopened around 2020-end. JNU also started re-opening its campus for staff and students from the month of November, phase-wise, while strictly enforcing Covid-19 protocols.

Meanwhile, India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year, which took the total COVID-19 cases to 1,24,85,509, according to Union health ministry data.

This is the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded.

The death toll climbed to 1,64,623 on Sunday with 513 new fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed.

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