Tamil Nadu makes vaccination mandatory for college students to attend offline classes

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The Tamil Nadu government Friday made it mandatory for all college students to be fully vaccinated in order to be allowed to attend offline classes. The direction comes days after a report showed only 46 per cent engineering students above 18 years have taken their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines, adding, only 12% have taken both the doses.

Announcing the government’s decision, state Health Minister Ma Subramanian asked college authorities to verify and ensure 100% double dose vaccinations. Recent reports from the public health directorate and the Chennai city corporation highlighted risks of the infection spreading from canteens and dining areas of educational institutes.

Referring to the 11 Covid clusters at educational institutes across the state in the last three months, the minister said, “All students who are above the age of 18 should be vaccinated. The Greater Chennai Corporation will start special camps for students at colleges on Saturdays.” All cases recorded in the educational institutes were linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The minister’s directives also mandate the use of masks for everyone both inside the classrooms and outside, disposable containers at college canteens and regulated access of students inside canteens in different batches to reduce the risk of infection.

The directives also banned colleges from holding events, including cultural programmes and games like football and hockey matches without the prior approval of the government.

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