With speculations of the impending third wave of COVID-19 to affect children, schools in various states are set to reopen in July-August. Physical classes are commencing for the second time after the first wave of COVID hit in March 2020.
But the question arises, whether is it needed to risk children with the possible third wave?
Many health experts have expressed their views regarding this issue and said schools can be reopened judiciously in places where the COVID positivity rate is low. Physical classes are important and hence schools should reopen, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has said, but there has to be a balance, he said.
"I think we have to balance things out. There is a number of children who have missed out on schools for a very long time as they do not have the excess to computer and therefore they are not able to get the quality of education. Therefore, having physical classes is important also schools are not only important from an education point of view, but for building a child's character for social interaction, for interaction with peers, the physical school has a much bigger role to play than what can be done through virtual classes," Dr Guleria said to ANI.
"We can do it in an alternate manner so that the crowd is less. We can do surveillance; children can be monitored. If they have any symptoms they can stay at home. If the positivity rate continues to be low schools can continue, if it rises then the school can be shut down," the AIIMS chief said.
With a recurring dip in the number of COVID-19 cases each day, many states have moved ahead with the decision to reopen the schools and other educational institutions in the state. States like Haryana, Telangana, Gujarat among others have allowed physical classes in the schools following strict COVID-19 protocols.
Now, at least nine states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and Punjab — have either re-opened their schools partially or are in the process to do so, news reports suggest.
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It is apprehended that the possible third wave of the pandemic may affect children more as this age group was not infected much in the earlier two waves. Experts have confirmed that this speculation does not have any scientific backing.
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