Ground Report | New Delhi: Covid: 50 experts wrote; It has been more than a year and a half since the world was hit by the Covid-19 epidemic and India has also been badly affected by it. Due to the restrictions of the epidemic, primary and pre-primary schools have not yet opened in the country. Many experts are of the opinion that the risk of Covid-19 infection in children is less than that of adults, so schools should be opened.
Covid: 50 experts wrote letter
Now more than 50 doctors, pediatricians, public health experts, IIT professors, and economists have written open letters to some state governments urging them to open schools. Those who wrote this letter include infectious diseases specialist Dr Chandrakant Laharia, Professor Bhaskaran Raman of IIT Bombay, economists Jean Dreze and Ritika Kheda.
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In their letter, these experts have given scientific evidence and suggestions in favor of the opening of schools. This letter has been written by addressing Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and Karnataka Chief Minister’s Office.
Schools in India have been closed for more than 16 months, while scientific evidence has proved that it is possible to run schools with caution and safety. Due to the closure of schools, education and career-related activities are being severely damaged. At present, schools are either fully or partially open in 170 countries of the world. Some countries, such as Sweden and France, did not even close schools during the pandemic.
Vaccination of adults
UNICEF, an organization working for children associated with the United Nations, had said that schools should be closed last and should be opened first. Vaccination of adults will still take time. So far in Delhi, only 13 percent and in Maharashtra-Karnataka only seven percent people have received both doses of the vaccine. In such a situation, it will be too late to wait for the opening of schools till the vaccination of the entire population.
Corona vaccine is not being given to children below 12 years of age in any country of the world. At the same time, in many countries including India, the vaccine for those below the age of 18 is still in the process of being made. Covid-19 is not going to end so soon. In such a situation, schools should be opened by taking necessary precautions.
Suggestions to governments to open schools
- A task force should be constituted immediately in view of the plan to open schools partially for now and fully in future in your area.
- In areas where the positivity rate is low, a plan should be made to open schools gradually.
- Vaccination of school staff should be given on priority. In them the gap between two doses of vaccine should also be reduced.
- Initially a small group of students came to school once or twice a week.
- Online learning should be continued.
- Compulsorily enforced the habits of wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distance.
- There should be adequate provision of open air in the schools.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that schools will not open until the entire population is vaccinated in the state. But health experts are challenging the decision of the state governments not to open schools. In the fourth nationwide serosurvey last week, it has been found that 57% of children aged 6 to 9 years have got antibodies. At the same time, antibodies have been found in 62% of children aged 10 to 17 years. It is also being argued on this basis that now schools can be opened in India for the children of primary class. (Covid: 50 experts wrote)