Uttarakhand declares coronavirus an epidemic; shuts colleges, cinema halls

The government has declared novel an and shut all multiplexes, cinema halls, degree colleges and technical institutes across the state till March 31, official sources said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the state council of ministers in Dehradun late on Saturday night.

However, medical colleges will remain open, they said.

Under the Diseases Act 1897, the Centre has authorised state governments to take preventive measures to control the spread of coronavirus, state government spokesperson and Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said.

The state government has the authority under the Act to close any school, college or theatre incase it feels they may pose a threat to public health, he said.

There has been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

However, a 26-year-old IIT-Roorkee student with suspected symptoms of was admitted to an isolation ward of a hospital in Haridwar on Saturday.

The M.Tech student had returned from Japan on March 3.

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