New Delhi: Assam Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that the state government has decided to reopen elementary schools — Nursery to Class 6 — from January 1, 2021 as the COVID-19 situation has improved in the region.Also Read - Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Says ‘Madrasa’ Word Should Cease To Exist; Here's Why

Following a substantial decline in the number of COVID-19 cases and increase of facilities and infrastructures in the medical colleges and hospitals across the state, all 14 temporary COVID care centres in Assam are being closed, added Sarma. Also Read - This Country Extends Work From Home Order As COVID Cases Continue to Rise, Strict Curbs Imposed | Key Points

Addressing mediapersons, Sarma said that like previous cases, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for reopening of the classes for students from Nursery to Class 6 would be issued soon. Also Read - Navi Mumbai: Man Stabs Roommate Following Argument Over Cleaning House

The state had reopened educational institutions from Class 8 onwards on November 2 after more than seven months.

“Like the upper classes, the staggered approach with different classes in different days would be followed to maintain the social distancing and to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Sarma also announced that the government has decided on limited reopening of the hostels of colleges and universities for final year students and for residential students of Class 10 and 12 from December 15.

The minister further claimed that the COVID-19 situation in Assam is now tamed even as in other parts of India and across the world, there is a second or a third wave.

“However, the state government would continue to remain alert and the stringent measures already enforced would be maintained, if the situations dictate. Testing of samples would, however, be done aggressively, specially at the airports and railway stations as currently most of the positive cases detected are of people coming from outside,” he added.

Sarma said that in Assam, health workers are conducting tests on an average 20,000 to 30,000 samples.

Assam has so far registered a total of 2,12,617 Covid-19 positive cases, of which 2,08,283 have recovered with a recovery rate of 98 per cent and 981 patients have died with the fatality rate of 0.46 per cent.