Updated: August 24, 2021 7:18:36 am
While most of Karnataka bustled on Monday with schools reopening after a hiatus of 18 months, five districts proved to be the exception. Schools remained shut in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan districts where the Covid positivity rate is above or close to 2 per cent.
A dip in positive cases in Chikkamagaluru and Hassan, however, means that educational institutions in these districts could open by the end of this month. The average test positivity rate (TPR) in Karnataka is in the range of 0.85 per cent, according to official data.
District health officer (DHO) for Kodagu, where TPR is above two per cent, said the government will not reopen schools in the district as long as the positivity rate is high. “We cannot afford to risk children’s lives,” Dr K Mohan said.
Dr Umesh S N, DHO of Chikkamagaluru said the positivity rate has come down to 1.45 per cent and schools will reopen soon in the district. “The positivity rate has dropped from 1.75 per cent on August 13 to 1.45 per cent on August 19. The Education Department will look into it and see if schools are ready to welcome students,” he said.
As per statistics released by State Covid-19 War Room, only three districts have TPR over 2 per cent – Dakshina Kannada (3.15%), Udupi (2.71%) and Kodagu (2.16%) – while it is below 2 per cent in Chikkamaguluru (1.45%) and Hassan (1.64%).
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the government decided to reopen schools on the basis of an expert committee report. “Schools in border districts will be opened in a phased manner when the Covid rate is less than 2 per cent. Decisions regarding opening of primary schools will be taken in consultation with an expert committee later this week,” he added.
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