Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Sunday said a decision regarding reopening of schools for classes 1-5 in the state will be taken after the festival season. He also said the state government has reopened educational institutions not in a “hurry” but in a phased manner after discussion with parents and experts.
First higher education institutions was reopened, then pre-university and later classes 9-12 and classes 6-8, Sudhakar told reporters here after meeting Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. “We will take a decision shortly after the festival season. Let the Dussehra vacation get over,” he said.
Sudhakar said that a final call will be taken after consultation and the Cabinet’s decision. Asked about a school in Bengaluru being shut after children tested COVID-19 positive, he said the government is aware of it. But that one incident cannot determine whether to reopen schools for classes 1-5, Sudhakar said.
“That school is shut now and many children are isolated. Two children had symptoms and they are not in a serious condition. We are keeping a watch on every school in the state,” he said. It has been more than a month that schools were reopened for classes 6-8 in the state and “we have not received any reports of concerns from schools so far”, he added. Sudharkar said, ”We were to reopen schools for classes 1-5 because medically speaking immunity in children up to 12 years is highest.” Since children are small and keeping parents’ concern in mind, the government focused on reopening educational institutions in a phased manner, he said.
On reopening of educational institutions, Sudhakar said, “We did not take decisions in hurry. Even now if we see children are facing problems, then we will immediately take back our decision.” The Karnataka minister mentioned that the first dose has been administered to over 80 per cent of the entire eligible population of 4.98 crore in the state, while the second dose to 37 per cent so far. In September, the state administered the highest single-month vaccine doses of 1.48 crore, he said.
“At the same speed, we will complete the entire eligible population by the end of December 31,” he said. Sudhakar, however, said there are ”10-15 per cent of the population who still have not taken a single dose in the state”, and the government is planning an outreach programme to create awareness. .