An expert panel head by eminent cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty has strongly recommended the reopening of schools in Karnataka. The panel also demanded health insurance of ₹ 2 lakh for each child attending offline classes.
The 'High-Level Expert Committee for Prevention and Management of COVID Wave 3' submitted its interim report to the state government on Saturday, June 19, reported The Times of India.
A panel member said that the state government has been recommended to provide health coverage of ₹2 lakh for every child going to school. The member, however, pointed out that it is not the same as life insurance cover and said doing so will build confidence among parents to send their children to school.
The report also ruled out the possibility of schools becoming infection hubs and said that no such instances have been proved anywhere in the world. It warns that any delay in achieving near normalisation of schooling will be more detrimental than the virus itself. The panel has recommended that all government, aided and unaided schools in rural areas, smaller towns and bigger towns be reopened.
About 3.4 Lakh Children To Be Infected
The panel projects about 3.4 lakh of Karnataka's 2.3 crore children in the 0-18 age group to get infected during the third wave. Among those infected, 23,804 children might require hospitalisation 6,801 ICU, and 43,358 would require COVID care centres while the rest can be looked after at home.
The report has also pointed out how the digital divide has created gaps in learning and educational inequality. The panel has said that a delay in school reopening may just lead to children being pushed into child labour, child marriage, trafficking.
Telangana To Reopen Schools
The Telangana government has decided to reopen all educational institutions from July 1, amid the scare of a possible third wave of COVID-19 that could affect children. On June 19, the Telangana government lifted all the lockdown restrictions in the state that had been in force since May 12, completely, claiming that the number of COVID-19 cases has come down in the state.
Along with removing the restrictions, the government asked all educational institutions to reopen from July 1, with "full preparedness and allow the students to attend the classes physically.