Published: 09th August 2022
COVID-19: Delhi schools step up protective measures, experts not in favour of closure
COVID-19 cases have been rising in the capital with the case positivity rate rising to 17.85 per cent, the highest since January 21, according to health department data
The rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi has brought back concerns about school-going children, prompting institutions to come up with online classes and recorded lectures as experts are against school closures.
Health experts believe schools should not be closed. There is, however, a need to reinforce COVID-appropriate behaviour, something that elders and the younger cohort are not adhering to, they said, as per a report by PTI.
School managements are bringing measures such as sending recorded lectures to students who are ill, allowing online classes for those in isolation and putting study tours on hold. "We are all aware that COVID-19 is not over yet. We have instituted a proper mechanism of checks to ensure that a student's health is not negated and undermined. Unwell students are isolated and dropped off at their homes so that they can have proper rest and others can study without apprehensions or worries," said Anshu Mital, Principal of MRG School, Rohini, as per PTI.
"We also send recorded lectures to unwell students so that they do not lag behind in studies. Students are receiving proper training to give priority to hygiene and sanitisation through health-centric workshops organised for them. Proper social-distancing is being followed as usual," she added, as per PTI.
Shubhi Soni, head of The Shri Ram Wonder Years in Rohini, said that although the sudden uptick in COVID-19 cases is alarming, shutting down schools is not an option as students are habituated to planned routines and study timelines, which must not be disrupted as it can impede their revived academic progress after the lockdown.
"The health of students should also not be compromised, which is why we are taking necessary precautions of temperature checks and isolation measures for students who are ill. We are also sending worksheets to them so that they do not miss out on studies and can comfortably learn from home as well. School trips have been put on hold for a while. Outside food is not allowed and we are facilitating hygienic meals for students. Students are encouraged to bring home-cooked food and abstain from sharing meals with peers," she said, as per PTI.
Delhi reported 1,372 more COVID infections and 6 deaths as the case positivity rate rose to 17.85 per cent, the highest since January 21, according to health department data. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, August 9, said that COVID cases are on the rise in Delhi but there was no need to panic as most new cases were mild in nature and the city government is keeping a close watch on the situation.
What do health experts say?
According to Anil Sachdev, Director of Paediatric Intensive Care at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, children are at an increased risk due to the coronavirus and seasonal illnesses. "However, we have seen that children have had mild COVID symptoms. Only two children in the last one month were serious but they had comorbidities. One child had Down syndrome and the other had some comorbidities but those children have recovered. Schools should not be closed but there is a need to reinforce COVID-appropriate behaviour," he said, as per PTI.
Krishan Chugh, Director and HOD of Paediatrics, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said that once a child goes to school while infected but not diagnosed and isolated, they can become a source of infection for classmates and friends. "Though not common in children, they are not immune to this dreaded disease. In the initial period of the epidemic, they are more likely to pick up the infection from close contact with infected adults. At present, there is no need to close the schools but parents and the public should be educated regarding the symptoms and preventive measures of monkeypox," he said, as per PTI.