The Delhi government has directed schools to temporarily close the entire premises or specific wings if any student or staff members test positive for the coronavirus disease, reported PTI on Thursday.

In an advisory issued on Wednesday, the Directorate of Education also directed students and staff members to wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

The directorate also called for washing hands regularly, using sanitisers and creating awareness about the prevention of Covid-19 among students, teachers and other supporting staff and parents visiting the schools.

The advisory came amid students and school staff testing positive for the virus in the national Capital. At least five students and staff members of a private school in Vasant Kunj tested positive for Covid-19 in the last week.

Coronavirus cases are also rising across the city. On Thursday, Delhi recorded 325 Covid-19 cases, a jump of about 57% from Monday’s infection tally of 137. No new deaths were recorded on Thursday.

The toll stood at 26,158 and the overall infection tally climbed to 18,67,206.

The test positivity rate, however, dropped to 2.39% from Wednesday’s 2.49%. Monday’s test positivity rate of 2.70 was the highest since February 5, when it was 2.87%.

The order to temporarily shut down schools came after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia noted a “slight” rise in coronavirus cases in the city.

Both Sisodia and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have said that the government is closely monitoring the situation. They have asked residents not to panic as there has not been a rise in hospitalisation.

As of Thursday, only 48 of the 9,745 beds in coronavirus dedicated hospitals are occupied.

Meanwhile, parents have expressed concern about the safety of their children.

“As students across the Delhi-NCR test Covid positive, schools are struggling with protocols,” a parent told PTI. “My child’s school has at least eight kids and two staff members who tested positive. But no proper information was given by the school. The school is functioning normally.”

Another parent told PTI: “If schools don’t follow all protocols, they will have to be closed again and that will further cause learning loss to students.”