Updated: November 1, 2021 12:19:15 pm
The Karnataka government has decided to reopen Anganwadi centres (AWCs) in the state on November 8. However, to begin with, AWCs will be open only from 10 am to 12 pm while the take-home ration (THR) facility will continue.
A senior official from the department of women and child development told The Indian Express that the government decision was based on recommendations put forth by the Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC) earlier last month. “The Covid-19 TAC had recommended reopening of AWCs in its 124th meeting held on September 4. Detailed guidelines have been issued and sent across to all 66,361 Anganwadis (including 3,331 mini Anganwadis across the state,” the official said.
However, the official added that only AWCs in taluks recording a Covid-19 test positivity rate below 2 per cent will be allowed to reopen. As per the guidelines issued by the government, it is mandatory for all Anganwadi workers (AWWs), helpers (AWHs), and parents of beneficiaries visiting AWCs to have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
The number of children to be allowed physically in AWC shall be decided based on the seating capacity of AWC. While it is recommended that children should be seated at a distance of one metre from each other, they shall be divided into multiple groups and called on alternate days in case the seating capacity is less in any AWC. Further, officials have been instructed to inform parents on which days their wards should be brought to the centre.
Meanwhile, AWWs and AWHs have been directed to get a Covid-19 RT-PCR test before the commencement of operations at their respective Anganwadi centres, irrespective of their vaccination status. “While making food wear a headgear/head cap and apron. The mask should cover the mouth and nose properly,” the guidelines addressed to the staff at AWCs mentioned.
At the same time, AWCs will also need to conduct a health appraisal daily. “AWWs and AWHs will closely monitor children for symptoms such as fever, cough, throat pain and difficulty in breathing. In the event of children displaying symptoms, they should be separated from the rest and taken to a nearby public healthcare centre by their parents for seeking medical advice,” the official explained.
While daily sanitisation of all items used at AWCs is recommended, Anganwadi staff have been asked to keep sanitiser or disinfectant solutions at a safe place away from the access of children.
AWCs in the state had remained closed in the state from March 2020, when the pandemic first hit Karnataka. However, they had reopened for a brief period from February 3 and was closed again on April 7 due to the second wave of Covid-19.
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