It should be noted that amidst talks of ‘hitting the peak’ in certain cities, India continues to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus. As we write this, the number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 43,70,129 and the infectious pathogen has already resulted in more than 73 thousand deaths.
Government issues SOP for partial reopening of schools
The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has released the guidelines that must be kept in mind by all students and teachers while visiting schools to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. It should be noted that students are permitted to visit their schools on a voluntary basis, but they must have written permission from their parents. Here is the list of preventive measures to be adopted by students and teachers during the pandemic for a partial reopening of schools:
1. Teacher-students visit should be organised in a staggered manner to ensure social distancing.
2. Usage of face covers or face masks to be made mandatory for students, teachers and other employees.
3. Students and teachers living in containment zones will not be allowed to attend the school. Also, only those schools who are currently not in containment zones will be allowed to open.
4. Keeping social distancing in mind, seating arrangements should ensure that there is a distance of six feet between desks and chairs etc.
5. The concerned teaching and non-teaching employees (up to 50 per cent of the strength) can be called to schools for online teaching or tele-counselling and other related work.
6. All the work areas (especially high-touch surfaces) used for teaching, demonstration etc. will be cleaned and sanitized regularly using one per cent sodium hypochlorite solution.
7. Schools are instructed to utilise outdoor spaces for teaching as much as possible, keeping the weather conditions in mind.
8. Following respiratory etiquettes and maintaining personal hygiene at all times is extremely important
9. Only asymptomatic people will be allowed to enter the school premises.
10. The temperature setting of air conditioners should be between 24-30 degree Celsius.