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As cases surge in schools: Nawanshahr admin says students not adhering to Covid norms, some even exchanging masks

Nawashahr and Muzaffarpur areas of the districts are more affected. All these schools are nearby and sources said that children of some families going to two different schools from the area also led to the spread.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
February 24, 2021 11:14:29 am
Covid norms, Schoold reopening, Punjab schools, Punjab news, Indian expressThe DoE has asked schools to refer to guidelines on "safe online learning in times of COVID-19" which were jointly developed by the NCERT and UNESCO. (Express Photo by Pradeep Kumar / Representational)

With 55 per cent of the total active Covid cases in Nawanshar right now belonging to schools in the district, the administration is pointing to disregard for Covid norms as the reason behind the surge. On Tuesday, 41 students, including 30 from government senior secondary school, Usmanpur, and three teachers tested positive.

In the last one month, nearly half dozen schools in the district have reported 328 cases. Out of this government senior secondary schools Kariyam (70), Rahon (46), Nawanshahr (40) and Usmanpur (30) have reported most cases. Government high schools Saloh, Takarla have reported 35 and 14 cases, respectively.

Nawashahr and Muzaffarpur areas of the districts are more affected. All these schools are nearby and sources said that children of some families going to two different schools from the area also led to the spread.

A teacher in the Kariyam government school said some students have even been exchanging masks with each other and shaking hands leading to faster spread of infection.

“We have been teaching them about social distancing and not sharing their masks with anyone but some students are indulging in such practices and creating trouble,” said the teacher.

The government schools have even appointed Nodal Covid-19 teachers in every school to keep a check on the students and motivate them for the social distancing and cleaning hands regularly and even class monitors are asked to ensure social distancing while teachers are not in the class.

“We have noticed that some students are exchanging their masks which led to increase in cases in some schools in the districts. We have suggested use of masks with name and roll number of the students written on them,” said Civil Surgeon, Nawanshar, Dr Gurdeep Singh Kapur.

He added that there were no serious case and all have been home quarantined so far. Dr Kapur said that they have conducted massive sampling of nearly 10,000 around these schools and also the contacts of all the students.

District Education Officer (DEO) Nawanshahr Jagjit Singh said that they have divided school timing in two shifts — morning and evening, where the number of students in the school are more.

“I have been visiting 5 schools daily just to motivate students to maintain the social distance and break the Covid chain,” the DEO said, adding that nearly 100 masks are being distributed by him daily in the schools he visits.

The schools were re-opened in Punjab on January 7 this year.

Meanwhile, 599 cases are active in Nawanshahr including 34 teachers and 294 students.

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