Shimla: All educational institutions and cinema halls have been closed in Himachal Pradesh till March 31 as a precautionary measure to check community transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said in the state assembly on Saturday.

In a statement in the House during the Budget session, the chief minister said all cinema halls and educational institutions including schools, colleges, universities, anganwadi centres and creches will remain closed till March 31.

However, examinations will continue as per schedule, he added.

No confirmed case of COVID-19 has been found so far in Himachal Pradesh.

As many as 593 people have been kept under surveillance, he said, adding that information regarding 372 of them was obtained from the Bureau of Immigration with their recent travel history to COVID-19 affected countries.

The remaining 221 people have reported to authorities on their own, Thakur said.

The samples of seven of them who had come to IGMC Shimla and RPGMC Tanda hospitals with cough or fever symptoms were found to be negative for COVID-19, he added.

Urging the people of the state to cooperate with authorities, the chief minister said, "There is no need to panic. Take these steps as a positive step to check any possibility of spread of new coronavirus in the state as two persons have died in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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