August 15, 2021 2:35:38 am
Karnataka’s Covid-19 expert committee has advised the state government to open higher classes in schools but added that it should shut down schools in regions where the test positivity rate is above two per cent.
Classes 9-12 are scheduled to begin from August 23 in Karnataka.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai met the advisory committee Saturday and agreed to the recommendation of closing schools.
The test positivity rate is at present above two per cent in the districts of Dakshina Kannada (3.98 per cent), Chikamagaluru (3.24 per cent), Kodagu (2.71 per cent), Udupi (2.42 per cent) and Hassan (2.23 per cent).
“We have decided to open the schools for classes nine to 12 in the districts where the positivity rate is less than two percent. In the districts with more than two percent positivity rate we are not allowing schools to reopen. All parents, teachers and staff must be vaccinated. Without vaccination they cannot enter the school premises,” CM Bommai said following the meeting with technical experts.
“They have said (technical experts) that once schools are opened if the positivity goes above two percent in the area, province where the school is located then the school should be closed for a week and cleaned and then re-opened. We have agreed,” Bommai said.
“The districts in which the Covid prevalence is high – especially the border districts of Kerala and Maharashtra the schools should not be opened and only the districts where positivity is below two percent schools will be opened,” he said.
In the city of Bengaluru where the positivity rate is 0.75 percent schools will open for the higher classes next week. “An SOP is ready for the schools to start functioning – batches will come in on alternate days and classes will be held with sufficient social distancing,’” he said.
The technical advisory committee has asked the state government to keep a strict vigil on Covid 19 numbers in order to prevent an uncontrolled third wave, the chief minister said. The experts are of the view that the second wave is still prevalent and the third wave has not begun as yet, Bommai said.
“One of the observations that was made was that when the first wave was ending the number of cases were 200 to 300 and that now at the end of the second wave the cases are as high as 1400 to 1800. They have said that we must watch the situation very carefully,” he said.
“If 40 percent of oxygenated beds get filled it is a cause for alarm. At present hospitalisation is very low,” Bommai said.
The state government has decided to approach the central health ministry with a request to increase the supply of vaccines from the current 65 lakh doses in a month to one crore in order to increase vaccination in the state, he said. As part of the current efforts to control the spread of the virus the government will vaccinate people in all villages within a 10 km distance of the borders of Kerala and Maharashtra, Bommai said.
“We have done four crore vaccinations, we have 14.89 lakh vaccine doses as of today. We will get another 30 lakh by the end of the month. We want one crore and we are meeting the health minister to increase supplies from 65 lakh to one crore,” the Karnataka CM said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.