Updated: September 29, 2021 7:47:57 pm
Schools in the city may be allowed to reopen for nursery to class 8, but only after the festive season, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has decided.
According to sources, it was decided in Wednesday’s meeting that since cases have remained below the 100 mark for three months in the city, schools for junior classes can reopen, but only after the festive season ends. This would mean that classes for these students will continue exclusively online till at least November 4, when Diwali will be celebrated.
The meeting was chaired by L-G Anil Baijal along with health minister Satyendar Jain, revenue minister Kailash Gahlot, Dr VK Paul, member, NITI Aayog, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava, NCDC director Dr S K Singh, NDMA member Krishna Vatsa and Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev.
For students in classes 9, 10, 11 and 12, school had resumed on September 1 and a healthy turnout has been reported over the past two weeks. Consent has to be obtained from parents for children to attend offline classes.
Educationists have pushed for reopening of schools, arguing that the learning gap, especially in younger children, has widened since junior classes have been conducted offline since March 2020.
Officials said Delhi’s improved situation was taken into account but caution was suggested. At any gatherings that are held during the festival season — including Durga Pooja Navratri, Dussehra and Diwali — Covid-appropriate behaviour will have to be followed.
This means that standing crowds will not be allowed, separate entry and exit points will have to be set up, appropriate social distancing for seating will have to be maintained and no activities such as fairs, stalls and giant wheel, etc that attract crowds will be allowed, sources said. Only 50% of the seating capacity can be occupied.
Discussions on a change in vaccine strategy to cover groups, such as government servants, health workers, school staff, auto/taxi drivers and delivery personnel, were also held, sources said.
A decision to set up vaccination camps and mobile vans with ambulances to vaccinate the elderly, differently-abled, indisposed and domestic helps was also taken.
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