The State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that examined a proposal on “school bubbles” as an intervention to limit the spread of COVID-19 among school-going children has recommended introducing the concept as “operationally feasible” in the schools of Karnataka.
According to a proposal presented at the 123rd TAC meeting held earlier this week, the reopening of schools often poses a challenge in terms of what interventions need to be in place to ensure the safe return of pupils to face-to-face learning.
“Children, especially in primary school, tend to have a lot of interactions with their peers on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, on a practical basis, it is extremely difficult to undertake a thorough risk assessment to identify close contacts that would need to self-isolate on the back of a positive case in a school-aged child. School bubbles are one such intervention that seek to pragmatically balance the risk of COVID-19 spread versus ensuring a near-normal experience for learners,” the proposal stated.
“Conceptually, school bubbles are a simple yet rigid grouping of a small number of pupils in a year group who tend to remain as a group during school hours. If any pupil tests positive within the bubble, only the affected bubble will self-isolate, not the whole class/year group. Typically, a school bubble will need to be no more than 30 pupils for it to be effective,” the proposal stated. The proposal is based on a similar concept being followed in the United Kingdom, the TAC was informed.