Parents in a quandary over sending children to school

Carefree attitude: Schoolchildren travelling in a crowded auto without properly wearing masks in Visakhapatnam on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

An incident in which four children tested positive for COVID-19 at a government school in the city has put the parents in a quandary on sending their children to school. This is despite the fact that most schools are following all the COVID-19 protocols.

Doctors, however, say there is no cause for worry as the percentage of children being affected is negligible when compared to adults.

Almost all the children affected by the pandemic are recovering.

Many of the schools and colleges are not operating school transport and the load has increased on RTC buses and auto rickshaws, adding to the woes of parents.

“We have increased the trips in high frequency routes during the school and college timings. A watch will be kept on the situation to further increase the number of services based on the need,” Deputy Chief Traffic Manager (Urban) M. Sudhabindu told The Hindu on Friday.

“The complications among children due to COVID-19 is minimal and even those affected by it are recovering well. Death among children is a rarity, but cannot be ruled out. It is yet to be established whether the virus is being transmitted from children to children at school or from their parents at home,” P. Venugopal, HOD, Paediatrics, Department of Andhra Medical College (AMC), says.

“It is better to avoid sending children to school up to the age of 6 years in the present situation. Alternate day classes are advisable for those in the age group of 6-10 years. Masks, social distancing and other protocols can be ensured for older children,” he says.

“About 80% of our students have returned after the lockdown, and are regularly coming to the school. We are conducting regular classes from 1st to 10th class and only online classes for UKG. There were no admissions into LKG last year due to the pandemic situation,” says D. Uday Kumar, correspondent of Keystone School, Seethammadhara.

“Budget schools (small private schools), which operate in the neighbourhood, get children from poor families and they cannot afford online classes. Strict shift system should be implemented to ensure social distancing as the accommodation is limited in these schools,” says AP Private Schools Association (APPSA) president K.S.N. Murthy.

“It is not known whether the four children of the government school at Gopalapatnam were infected at the school or from their parents at home. The school was disinfected with sodium hypochlorite after the children tested positive,” says Lakshmi Tulasi, Assistant Medical Officer of Zone-8, GVMC.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:30:23 PM |

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