Published: 16th December 2021
Indian parents want schools shut only when multiple Omicron cases are found, finds survey
The survey with over 10,000 parents as respondents was conducted amid concerns being raised over the new COVID-19 variant and its rising cases
What do parents want when it comes to shutting schools due to the new Omicron variant? Well, according to a new survey, the majority of parents want local authorities to shut schools only if multiple Omicron cases are found in their district or within 25 kilometres of their vicinity.
The survey with over 10,000 parents as respondents was conducted amid concerns being raised over the new COVID-19 variant and its rising cases. There were respondents from over 332 districts of the country, and 61 per cent of the participants were men while 39 per cent were women. "Majority parents preferred shutting schools if there are multiple Omicron cases in the district or in nearby districts (within 25-kilometre radius) while 12 per cent said that they wanted authorities to shut schools if there is even a single Omicron case in the district and in nearby districts," stated the survey conducted by online platform Local Circles.
Twenty-one per cent citizens also said, "shut schools if there is even a single (non-travel history) Omicron case in the district or in nearby districts." Forty-five per cent of the respondents were from Tier-1 districts, 31 per cent from Tier-2 districts and 24 per cent were from Tier-3, Tier-4 and rural districts.
The findings indicate that the majority of parents want their district administration to shut schools if multiple Omicron cases are found in their district or within 25-kilometre vicinity. This question in the survey received 9,694 responses, the report by online survey platform stated.
"With limited outdoor air ventilation in most classes and no access to air purifiers and high transmissibility of Omicron, many parents are concerned that once it is in the community in their district, it will likely spread very rapidly among children in school," it said. "Evaluation of the responses given by parents indicates that most parents want authorities to refrain from shutting schools till Omicron comes to their district or vicinity, whereas, only 30 per cent of parents want authorities to wait till a community (non-travel) Omicron case is found in their district or vicinity," the survey stated.
Knowing that Omicron is highly transmissible, most parents want their district administration to take swift action and shut schools once multiple cases of the variant are identified in the district, it added. Schools in most states resumed in-person classes in August-September this year after daily COVID-19 cases started to decline post the aggressive second wave of the pandemic. However, once again, the country is on alert after reporting over 75 cases of the more transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 within a matter of two weeks.