The Tamil Nadu government has ordered schools to shut physical classes for classes 9, 10 and 11 from Monday in the wake of increasing coronavirus cases in the state. However, the order from the Revenue and Disaster Management Department permitted the schools to run classes for Class 12 as they are set to attend their board exams in May. It also said that online classes can be held for classes 9, 10 and 11. A government order on Saturday said, “As per the recommendations of the expert team of doctors and public health specialists and based on the directives of the government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, state-wide lockdown was extended from time to time.” “Now, the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has stated that in the light of the increasing trend of COVID cases from a Public Health point of view it would not be advisable to continue the classes at least for classes 9, 10 and 11,” the GO said. “The Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has however stated that as far as Class 12 is concerned, they may be permitted to function as the number of students will be lesser and as they also have to face the Board Examination by strict follow-up of all SOPs,” it said. Hence considering the situation, the order attested by Rajeev Ranjan, Chief Secretary to the government said, “Schools shall be closed for classes 9,10, 11 with effect from March 22 until further orders. Further, hostels for the above students shall be closed. However, online mode of education can continue for classes 9, 10 and 11.” The government also permitted to conduct board examination for Class 10 for boards other than Tamil Nadu state board as scheduled and for conducting special classes to the students appearing for the above-mentioned board exams. The hostels for these students can also function, the order said. The order from the state government has come at a time when the state reported 1,087 new cases on Friday. Of the total cases, Chennai reported 421 cases and four deaths.