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Covid-19: UP shuts schools for students up to class 8 till March 31 

Superspreader events such as weddings, and public’s laxity with Covid-19 prevention guidelines to blame for fresh surge

Sabrangindia 23 Mar 2021

UP school

The Uttar Pradesh government has once again decided to shut all schools for students up to class 8 from March 24 March-March 31 in the wake of the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state. According to news reports, Chief Minister Adityanath-led government made the official announcement on Monday and issued an order. According to the order all other educational institutions where exams are currently not underway should also remain closed till March 31.

 

 

The closure was decided at a high-level meeting chaired by the CM, and attended by senior government officials. The state, according to the Union Health Ministry, has around 3,036 active coronavirus cases, and around 8,759 deaths have been reported overall. On February 10, the UP government had reopened schools across the state for classes 6 to 8, and March 1 schools were also opened for students of classes 1 to 5. However, according to news reports classes were held only twice a week with 50% attendance.

According to news reports, the recent surge in  Covid-19 cases has been pinned on two major factors by a Union government panel. These are superspreader events such as weddings, and the fact that many people have lowered their guard and are following the Covid-19 prevention guidelines properly. Dr VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, “That (role of superspreader events) is what it looks like, as people have become lax in their behaviour... We cannot afford to lower our guard at this stage, and should avoid mass gatherings as it can become superspreading events. Not following Covid-19 behaviour and laxity is a major reason for the surge.” 

The Uttarakhand government was also advised to follow strict Covid-19 spread prevention measures during the upcoming Kumbh Mela. A high-level team which travelled to Uttarakhand state raised concerns after reviewing medical care and public health arrangements for the Kumbh Mela. The union Health Ministry has ordered the state “to increase the number of Covid testing as per the ICMR guidelines to ensure that the pilgrims and local population is appropriately tested”. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary, recommending “periodic testing of frontline workers before and after auspicious snan, effective risk communication, enhanced testing in potential high transmission areas” among other measures. He has noted that pilgrims could arrive from any of the states which are currently recording a surge in Covid cases, and that there “is a potential of an upsurge in cases in the local population after the auspicious Shahi Snan days during the Kumbh Mela." 

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat, too, had tested Covid-19 positive. He had recently announced a relaxation Covid-19 restrictions in the state, and said the pilgrims visiting the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar do not have to carry Covid-19 negative RT-PCR reports.

 

Related:

Covid-19: 46,951 new cases registered in the last 24 hours

Less than 1 percent of Indians vaccinated for Covid-19 so far: Parliamentary Panel

Night curfew back in Gujarat, as Covid-19 cases surge again

Covid-19: UP shuts schools for students up to class 8 till March 31 

Superspreader events such as weddings, and public’s laxity with Covid-19 prevention guidelines to blame for fresh surge

UP school

The Uttar Pradesh government has once again decided to shut all schools for students up to class 8 from March 24 March-March 31 in the wake of the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state. According to news reports, Chief Minister Adityanath-led government made the official announcement on Monday and issued an order. According to the order all other educational institutions where exams are currently not underway should also remain closed till March 31.

 

 

The closure was decided at a high-level meeting chaired by the CM, and attended by senior government officials. The state, according to the Union Health Ministry, has around 3,036 active coronavirus cases, and around 8,759 deaths have been reported overall. On February 10, the UP government had reopened schools across the state for classes 6 to 8, and March 1 schools were also opened for students of classes 1 to 5. However, according to news reports classes were held only twice a week with 50% attendance.

According to news reports, the recent surge in  Covid-19 cases has been pinned on two major factors by a Union government panel. These are superspreader events such as weddings, and the fact that many people have lowered their guard and are following the Covid-19 prevention guidelines properly. Dr VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, “That (role of superspreader events) is what it looks like, as people have become lax in their behaviour... We cannot afford to lower our guard at this stage, and should avoid mass gatherings as it can become superspreading events. Not following Covid-19 behaviour and laxity is a major reason for the surge.” 

The Uttarakhand government was also advised to follow strict Covid-19 spread prevention measures during the upcoming Kumbh Mela. A high-level team which travelled to Uttarakhand state raised concerns after reviewing medical care and public health arrangements for the Kumbh Mela. The union Health Ministry has ordered the state “to increase the number of Covid testing as per the ICMR guidelines to ensure that the pilgrims and local population is appropriately tested”. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary, recommending “periodic testing of frontline workers before and after auspicious snan, effective risk communication, enhanced testing in potential high transmission areas” among other measures. He has noted that pilgrims could arrive from any of the states which are currently recording a surge in Covid cases, and that there “is a potential of an upsurge in cases in the local population after the auspicious Shahi Snan days during the Kumbh Mela." 

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat, too, had tested Covid-19 positive. He had recently announced a relaxation Covid-19 restrictions in the state, and said the pilgrims visiting the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar do not have to carry Covid-19 negative RT-PCR reports.

 

Related:

Covid-19: 46,951 new cases registered in the last 24 hours

Less than 1 percent of Indians vaccinated for Covid-19 so far: Parliamentary Panel

Night curfew back in Gujarat, as Covid-19 cases surge again

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