Karnataka government eases Covid-19 protocols, allows reopening of primary classes

The Karnataka government has allowed resumption of physical lessons for students of Classes I-V from October 25. The government has said that the classes shall be conducted in strict adherence to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and standard operating procedures issued by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education. Parental consent letter for attending physical classes is also mandatory.

“There shall be screening for Covid-19 symptoms at the entry… provision of hand sanitizers, physical distancing of minimum one meter as practically feasible, no crowding, particularly at the entry and exit,” the new order signed by Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar said.

Only teachers and staff who have been inoculated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to enter the school premises. “There shall be additional use of face shields by teachers who are over 50 years old. The classrooms and rest rooms will be disinfected daily using 1 percent Sodium Hypochlorite solution,” the order read.

Shweta Sastri, the managing director of Canadian International School, said, “This is the most welcome news of the year! Younger kids need to be back in school as they have been socially isolated since March 2020, the psychological impact of this has already manifested in many kids and unfortunately will continue to manifest over the next few years. We are just delighted that these kids will finally be able to physically attend school.”

In the light of a drop in Covid-19 cases, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended opening up more activities in the state. The state government after considering the TAC recommendations has also decided to ease operations at the airports in Karnataka for international arrivals.

The SpO2 checking will be discontinued except in cases of fever, cough, cold and difficulty in breathing. The checking of RT-PCR test reports on arrival will be discontinued except for countries notified by the Union government. “Instead, there will be mandatory uploading of the RT-PCR report in the Air Suvidha portal by the passenger and checking of the same by the Airlines concerned before the boarding of the passenger. With respect to protocol of quarantine for arrivals from the United Kingdom, the prevailing guidelines issued by the Government of India will be followed. Clarification regarding the same will be issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare,” the new order read.

Swimming pools have also been permitted to operate with 50% capacity.

“At the entry, all shall be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms… Only those having second-dose vaccination certificates shall be allowed. After every batch, the rest rooms, walkways, and other common areas used by the swimmers shall be disinfected using 1 percent Sodium Hypochlorite solution,” the order read.

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