Published: 04th September 2021
Three teachers and three students in TN test positive, two days after schools reopened
Though these figures are not alarming yet, this highlights the need for more vigilance in observance of social distancing norms and use of face masks and sanitisers
Within two days of reopening schools, three students – two in Ariyalur and one in Namakkal – and three teachers in Cuddalore have tested positive for COVID-19. Though these figures are not alarming yet, this highlights the need for more vigilance in observance of social distancing norms and use of face masks and sanitisers.
Further, two students of a government school at Paramathi Velur in Namakkal (in Class 11 and 12) are suspected to have been infected by the virus; health officials have decided to conduct a retest for the students.
It was on September 1 that physical classes for students of classes 9 to 12 began. As part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), body temperature and oxygen saturation level of both students and teachers are being checked at school entrances and the health department is alerted about those with symptoms.
The new cases were identified when symptomatic staff and students were tested by health department. Two positive students study in Class 9 and Class 12 at separate government-aided higher secondary schools in Ariyalur and Varadarajanpettai.
The positive student at Namakkal is in Class 10 at a government higher secondary school in Manickampalayam. Of the three teachers testing positive in Cuddalore, one is from a government girls higher secondary school in Manjakuppam and two are from a private school.
Of the two students suspected to have contracted the infection in Namakkal, Deputy Director of Health Services J Prabhakaran said: "We have taken their samples and told them to be in self-isolation."
Meanwhile, after meeting Union Health Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the cases were identified early because of effective monitoring by district officials.
"Among the teachers, there were a few vaccine-breakthrough cases reported. The schools were reopened as past experience showed that children won’t get infected by COVID-19 easily," he said.
The need to vaccinate the 17+ age groups who are entering the first year of college was also discussed, he added. Former Director of Public Health Dr K Kolandasamy said if students test positive at a specific school, it must be addressed as a localised issue and must be contained.