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Karnataka government eases Covid-19 protocols, allows reopening of schools for primary classes

Only teachers and staff who have been inoculated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to enter the school premises.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 19, 2021 9:31:18 am
schools reopen, schools reopen KarnatakaOnly teachers and staff who have been vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be allowed in classes 1 to 5. Express photo by Vishal Srivastav

With Covid cases on the decline in Karnataka, the state government has given its nod for reopening schools for students of Classes 1-5 from October 25, with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and SOPs issued by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education.

Parental consent letter for attending physical classes is mandatory, the order signed by Karnataka Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar says.

“There shall be screening for COVID 19 symptoms on entry, 50 percent of the capacity in a classroom, provision of hand sanitizers, physical distancing of one meter minimum as practically feasible, no crowding, particularly at school entry and exit,” the order says.

Only teachers and staff who have received both doses of the Covid vaccine will be allowed in Classes 1-5. “There shall be additional use of face shields by teachers who are over 50 years of age. The classrooms and rest rooms will be disinfected daily using 1 percent Sodium Hypochlorite solution,” the order says.

Welcoming the move, Canadian International School managing director Shweta Sastri said, “Younger kids need to be back in school as they have been socially isolated since March 2020. The psychological impact of this has already manifested in many kids and unfortunately will continue to manifest over the next few years. We are just delighted that these kids will finally be able to physically attend school.”

The Karnataka government, after considering recommendations by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), has also decided to ease operations at the airports for international arrivals. The checking of SpO2 levels will be discontinued except in cases of fever, cough, cold and difficulty in breathing. The checking of RT-PCR test reports on arrival will be discontinued except for countries notified by the Union government. “Instead, there will be mandatory uploading of the RT-PCR report in the Air Suvidha portal by the passenger and checking of the same by the concerned Airlines before the boarding of the passenger. With respect to protocol of quarantine for arrivals from the United Kingdom, the prevailing guidelines issued by the concerned Ministry of Government of India will be followed. Clarification regarding the same will be issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare,” the order says.

Swimming pools have also been permitted to operate with 50 per cent capacity. “At entry all shall be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms. Only asymptomatics shall be allowed. Only those with two dose vaccination certificates shall be allowed. After every batch-the rest rooms, walkways, and other common areas used by the swimmers shall be disinfected using 1 percent Sodium Hypochlorite solution,” the order says.

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