The Delhi government has partially reopened schools. The APP-government has allowed students of classes 10 to 12 to visit schools from Monday for work related to admission and practical activities for board exams. The administration said that health checkup camps situated on school campuses can resume.
Through an order issued Sunday evening, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) also permitted the opening of weekly markets across the city from Monday with a rider that the vendors and visitors shall follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. The DDMA, however, specified that schools, coaching centres and colleges will remain closed for teaching purposes.
“Students of class 10 to 12 in the city are permitted to visit their schools from August 9 (Monday) for admission-related work including counselling, guidance and practical activities for board exam. “Health checkups and referral services situated in schools or conducted from there can resume. Children of all age may visit these centres accompanied by their parents or guardians,” the DDMA order stated.
It said the Directorate of Education shall issue appropriate guidelines with respect to these permitted activities to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed and children safety is ensured. The government had last month said that auditoriums and assembly halls in schools and educational institutions can be used for training and meeting purposes with 50 per cent occupancy. Schools in the national capital were closed in March last year ahead of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Schools were partially reopened for classes 9 to 12 in January this year but were again closed in April in view of the aggressive second wave of COVID-19.
The DDMA order also said, “All weekly markets are allowed subject to strict compliance of guidelines issued by the government. No unauthorised weekly market is allowed to function.” The order added that roadside weekly markets will not be allowed. The weekly markets were closed after a lockdown was imposed in Delhi on April 19 due to a surge in cases during the second Covid wave. Later, in mid-June, one weekly market in each municipal zone was allowed to open with strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour and official guidelines. According to rough estimates, there are around 2,700 weekly markets that open on designated days in 12 of the municipal zones, Delhi Cantonment and the New Delhi Municipal Council. Around four lakh people depend on them for earning a livelihood, vendors claim.
“In case any field officer of DDMA finds that COVID appropriate behaviour or prescribed SOPs and guidelines are not being followed in any weekly market then such market will be closed by the District Magistrate and Zonal Deputy Commissioner of municipal body concerned without any loss of time so as to completely avoid and prevent any upsurge and likelihood of next wave in Delhi.
“RT-PCR tests of vendors or customers of weekly markets shall be conducted on random basis by the DM concerned regularly. In case of positive report test report, action should be taken as per the protocol prescribed by Health department with regard to quarantine, contact tracing and treatment etc,” the DDMA order said. The order by DDMA will be in force till August 23.