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Friday, March 05, 2021

Covid-19 scare: Maharashtra govt cautions authorities as more students attend school

Even as the state education department has made RT-PCR tests mandatory for teachers before schools reopened, there is currently no reporting system for suspected cases.

Written by Alfiya Khan | Pune |
Updated: February 9, 2021 3:49:49 pm
Uttar Pradesh: Attendance in classes 9 to 12 rises as normal schedule resumesThe Uttar Pradesh government removed all time restrictions for classes 9 to 12 in government and private schools from Tuesday. Now, classes can held as per schedule of pre-covid period. (File)

As the number of students reporting to classrooms in Maharashtra goes up day by day, the state government has given instructions to school authorities to strengthen their Covid-19 monitoring systems to detect suspected cases.

Vishal Solanki, commissioner (education), Maharashtra said the instructions have been given to schools to inform the local administration in case of a Covid-19 positive report.

“So far, we haven’t had a single case of a teacher or student contracting the disease after school reopening reported to us. Keeping a tab on the situation in every school, especially suspected cases, is nearly impossible. What we have done is issued instructions that if any symptoms are seen, a test be done and if there is a positive report, then the local administration be alerted. They can do the contact tracing and take a call on what needs to be done next. Until now, no case has been reported,” he said.

Giving the context of Kerala where over 200 students have tested Covid-19 positive after the reopening of schools, Solanki said the education officers would be reminded to monitor the situation closely at the ground level in their respective areas.

Over 95 per cent of schools from Class V onwards have started conducting classroom lectures with an average attendance of 40 per cent class strength. However, given the first instance of Covid-19 positive cases being reported in a neighbouring state, school authorities in Maharashtra are looking to strengthen their monitoring systems.

As per the latest data available with the school education department, of the 40,812 secondary schools from Class V onwards where 38,85,106 students are enrolled, 34,996 schools have reopened up till January 27.

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In Pune city where secondary schools started from February 1, 716 of 888 public and private schools have reopened and 35,800 students attended classroom lectures on February 8 alone.

However, even as the state education department has made RT-PCR tests mandatory for teachers before schools reopened, there is currently no reporting system for suspected cases.

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