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Schools should be reopened in a staggered way, says AIIMS doctor

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School reopen

Schools in the country, which have been generally closed since March last year as the coronavirus pandemic expanded, should be reopened in areas with fewer coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, according to Dr Randeep Guleria, head of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). “I am a proponent of opening up schools in a staggered way for districts that are seeing less virus circulation. It (reopening of schools) can be planned for places having positivity rates below 5 per cent,” Dr Guleria said in an interview on Monday.

According to Guleria, a member of India’s Covid-19 Task Force, these districts should consider bringing children back to school on alternate days and look for alternative measures to stagger the reopening. He further stated that if surveillance indicates the spread of Covid-19 instances, schools will be closed immediately.

Guleria said, “The reason is not just a normal life for our kids, but also the importance of schooling in the overall development of a child should be looked at.” 

Many youngsters in India have gained natural immunity to Covid-19 and have been exposed to the coronavirus, according to the senior doctor. Schools have been closed for a long time, and children have suffered as a result of the lack of access, he noted. To reopen schools, authorities might implement protocols such as masking, social separation, and sufficient ventilation.

Guleria stated in June that authorities should work quickly to develop solutions to reopen schools. “I personally feel that we should aggressively work on opening schools because it has really affected the young generation in terms of knowledge and especially the marginalised ones who can’t go for online classes,” Guleria said.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India’s total Covid-19 cases have reached 31,144,229, with 414,108 persons dying from the coronavirus disease. After a surge in April and May, the number of Covid-19 cases has been declining.

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