Chandigarh, Jan 14: Children in the age group of 15-18 years who are not vaccinated against Covid will not be allowed to enter schools, when they reopen, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said on Friday.

Schools in the state are currently shut in view of big surge in coronavirus cases in the past fortnight.

The minister issued the instruction during a meeting with officials to review the current Covid situation in the state.

"During the meeting, the health minister urged all the parents of children between 15 to 18 years of age to get their wards vaccinated at the earliest, as when the schools open, those who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the school," an official statement said.

Over 15 lakh children in Haryana between 15-18 years of age are eligible to get Covid vaccine and vaccination for this age group started on January 3.

With the state witnessing big surges in Covid cases, Vij said two nodal officers will be appointed for each district, out of which one officer will monitor arrangements at the government hospitals and the other in private ones.

These nodal officers will provide information about the arrangements available in the hospitals to the state government, he said.

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Lucknow, Jan 16 (PTI): Former Uttar Pradesh minister and OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan joined the Samajwadi Party on Sunday, days after he resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

On Friday, former ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, five BJP MLAs and one from the Apna Dal (Sonelal) joined the Samajwadi Party.

Apna Dal (Sonelal) is an ally of the BJP.

Besides Chauhan, Apna Dal (Sonelal) MLA from Vishvanathganj Assembly constituency in Pratapgarh district R K Verma too on Sunday joined the Akhilesh Yadav-led party which has emerged as the main challenger to the BJP in the state.

While joining the Samajwadi party, Chauhan trained his guns at the BJP, saying, "When the BJP formed government in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, it gave the slogan 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas'... But, 'vikaas' (development) of a handful of people was done and the rest were left to their fate."

Terming the Samajwadi Party as his "old home", he said, "We will change the politics of Uttar Pradesh, and make Akhilesh Yadav the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh once again."