TS Chief Secretary calls for full vaccination of school staff even as two teachers test positive for COVID

Even though most schools in the state have remained apprehensive about reopening, two government school teachers have already tested positive, putting parents on the edge
Image for representational purpose only| (Pic: Uday Chauhan, Express)
Image for representational purpose only| (Pic: Uday Chauhan, Express)

In a disconcerting development, two teachers of the Zilla Parishad Secondary School (ZPSS) at Eturunagaram in Mulugu district tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. They underwent Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) and have been under home quarantine since.Another teacher who exhibited COVID symptoms also underwent an RAT, but the result returned negative. The authorities have sent his samples to Warangal for an RT-PCR test and its result is awaited.

The news of the teachers contracting the virus spread like wildfire, with anxious parents contacting the headmaster of the school and enquiring about the gravity of the situation. They wanted to know whether or not it would be wise to send their children to school until the pandemic disappears completely.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on Friday reviewed the details of the attendance of students and vaccination of teachers. The CS instructed the District Collectors and district officials to ensure that 100 per cent vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff of the governments schools and private schools is done. The CS held a teleconference with District Collectors, additional collectors, DMHOs and DPOs from BRKR Bhavan.

He directed the Collectors and district officials to ensure vaccination of the schools bus drivers, mid-day meal staff, cleaning staff and others (adults) who associated with the schools. The Chief Secretary instructed that every school place a banner stating all teaching and non-teaching staff are completely vaccinated and that school is following COVID-appropriate behaviour. He said to ensure that schools are cleaned daily. Cleaning of the schools to take place daily.

Interestingly, the two teachers who tested positive were fully vaccinated, thus raising doubts over the efficacy of the vaccine. According to the District Medical and Health Department officials, the teachers were tested at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) and were asked to remain under home quarantine until they were cured.

The authorities had disinfected the premises of the school before its reopening. The incident, however, has raised concerns of safety of the students, teachers and non-teaching staff. As many as 160 of the total 920 students had attended classes in the last three days.

Somesh Kumar instructed that if any student/teacher/school worker is found with any COVID-19 symptoms, the person should be taken to nearest hospital/PHC and given a COVID-19 test. In case any school is found with Covid-19 positive cases, proper isolation measures are to be taken up. He said strict and proper precautions should be taken during the midday meal programme.

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