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148 school students have tested positive for Covid-19 since Sept 1: Tamil Nadu minister

The minister said the CM told him that a decision would be taken based on the feedback provided by the department of public health and medical experts at a Covid-19 review meeting, which is likely to be held towards the end of this month.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: September 16, 2021 6:37:04 pm
Tamil Nadu education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi was addressing mediapersons after submitting a report to Chief Minister MK Stalin on the resumption of physical classes for students of Standard I to VIII. (Representational/File)

The school education minister of Tamil Nadu, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, on Thursday said that 148 pupils have tested positive for Covid-19 after physical classes resumed for high school students on September 1. He added about 35 lakh pupils in the state study in Classes IX to XII, of which nearly 28 lakh have attended the physical classes so far.

He was addressing mediapersons after submitting a report to Chief Minister MK Stalin on the resumption of physical classes for students of Standard I to VIII. Anbil said the CM told him that a decision would be taken based on the feedback provided by the department of public health and medical experts at a Covid-19 review meeting, which is likely to be held towards the end of this month.

“Even if one student tests positive, the classroom concerned would be shut for three days. The entire area would also be sanitized. If students don’t feel safe to attend the physical classes, we are not going to force them. We are following this standard operating procedure,” Anbil said.

He added the chief scientist of the World Health Organization, Dr Sowmya Swaminathan, has said that it would be beneficial for the students to attend physical classes. He said his ministry has suggested multiple options – from reopening both primary and middle schools to the resumption of classes for middle school students or continuing physical classes only for high school students – to the chief minister. He said they would implement the required measures based on the chief minister’s decision.

The minister also said they were looking into the school dropout ratio and were expecting to get the details of a survey conducted on the matter by next month.

Anbil said that officials have already begun work on implementing the 28 announcements made by his ministry during this year’s Budget session and he expects to make public a status report on the projects soon.

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