West Bengal school education department says Nabanna to take final call
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended opening primary schools first as children are believed to recover from viral infection much quicker. But the rider is that all staff and teachers must be vaccinated.
“Children can handle viral infection better than adults as they have fewer receptors. Antibody exposure is also similar in children and adults. So once the decision (on reopening educational institutions) is taken and all staff are vaccinated, it would be good to open primary schools first,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR director-general, at a health ministry briefing on July 20. " Some Scandinavian countries didn't shut their primary schools in any COVID waves.”
The school education department of West Bengal has said that any decision on opening schools will be taken by the state secretariat and that the government has not yet thought on the matter.
ICMR’s latest Sero Survey has revealed that as many as 67.6 per cent of India’s population above six years had developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
AIIMS director Randeep Guleria, too, had said earlier said that schools should be reopened. “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. Keeping schools shut down can affect children adversely.”
India has seen one of the biggest school closures in the world. Schools have been shut since mid-March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools were reopened in several states, including West Bengal for students of Classes IX and XII to help them prepare for the board exams.
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