Medical experts have come down heavily on school authorities after 30 students tested positive for Covid-19m in within a week of resuming physical classes at the campus. The experts have asked the schools to operate in a planned manner with smaller batches and holding classes in smaller batches.
According to Dr. Baldeep Singh, MD in pediatric and with Deep hospital asked schools to be cautious about holding classes before the vaccination of children is completed. Covid-19 vaccinations for the children are expected to start by the next month. The longer the students are on campus higher is the risk of catching the infection, reported the Indian Express
Classes for 10 and 12 were opened on July 26 with in-person classes for the rest started August 2 onwards. The government, however, did not mention the strength of students who were to be called for in-person classes. Scenes of crowding at the schools became a common scenario as social distancing norms were flouted. The scene was most common in Malaut, Ludhiana, Bathinda, and Faridkot.
According to the Chairman of Malwa branch of Association of Physicians of India, children having lunch together, sharing the same tap for water in the six hours at school, sharing the same toilet led to the situation. He recommended calling students in smaller numbers and for shorter durations. Dr. Gupta pointed out that the schools should have adhered to appropriate Covid infrastructures like screens on their desks, sanitized classrooms, and sprinklers.
Severe schools adhering to the protocols have started holding classes in batches bit many others with much higher strength continue to hold packed classes without ensuring Covid conducive infrastructure and behaviour, making the situation riskier for spread of coronavirus infections among students
A parent of a student in one of the Punjab schools pointed out that those children eat their lunch with friends and they open their masks for this purpose. Hence it is practically impossible for a small child to wear a mask from 8 am to 2 pm.
Dr. Rajesh Bhaskar, the nodal officer in Punjab for Covid cases informed that regular sampling of students and teachers is being held at schools. So far two schools both in Ludhiana were shut down for witnessing 20 cases. Since the rest of the 10 cases were from schools spread out at other districts, that class with those patients was suspended for 14 days without affecting the entire school.