AIIMS Chief Favours Graded Reopening Of Schools

By Shalini Bhardwaj

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Friday said the schools in the areas where the Covid positivity rate is low can be reopened.

He suggested graded reopening of schools can be done with proper monitoring of the areas where the positivity rate is low.

“I think we have to balance things out. There is a number of children who have missed out on schools for a very long time as they do not have the excess to computer and therefore they are not able to get the quality of education. Therefore, having physical classes is important also schools are not only important from an education point of view, but for building a child’s character for social interaction, for interaction with peers, the physical school has a much bigger role to play than what can be done through virtual classes,” Dr Guleria said.

“Now, we are in a situation wherein certain parts of the country the number of cases are very low, positivity rate is very low and hospitalisation is very low,” he said.

Talking about the graded reopening of schools, Dr Guleria said, “We should start thinking of opening schools in a graded manner. In areas where the positivity rate is low, the graded opening can be done.”

“We can do it in an alternate manner so that the crowd is less. We can do surveillance; children can be monitored. If they have any symptoms they can stay at home. If the positivity rate continues to be low schools can continue, if it rises then the school can be shut down,” the AIIMS chief said.

Regarding the Delta variant, Dr Guleria said, “We need more data as far as the Delta plus is a concern. The Delta plus is still the lineage from the Delta variant so it is not a different new variant, and data currently does not say that it is more infectious because wherever Delta plus is reported has not seen a huge surge in the number of cases. Also data does not suggest that it is causing more hospitalisation. I do not think that it is causing more disease and we need to monitor closely.” (ANI)

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