The state government will decide on whether to close the schools in the wake of the increasing Covid-19 cases on Friday. Minister V Sivankutty on Thursday said that the state would take a relook at the functioning of the schools after meeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He pointed out that the virus does not pose a major threat to children. However, the safety of the kids is of paramount importance, he added.
The minister will also discuss the matter with health experts.
It is learned that the decision regarding the complete closure of schools will not be taken even if the panel of health experts recommends it. However, there are indications that partial restrictions would likely follow.
The high school, higher secondary and final year classes in colleges would likely continue. Meantime, efforts will be taken by the health department to accelerate vaccination in schools. The Department of Health is of the view that Omicron and Delta variants of Covid-19 will not have a major impact on children.
Further, the panel of experts is not in favour of the closure of schools as of now. It is leaned that restrictions would also be considered to limit the number of employees arriving at the offices. In addition, decisions may also be made to limit the number of people who visit shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and others.
The schools were reopened in November 2021 after it was closed amidst the second wave of the Covid-19. Many schools had turned into Covid clusters during that time. However, classes are functioning smoothly at present by following the Covid-19 protocols. Only half of the students are attending classes a day. Assemblies and other gatherings are being avoided.
Yet, a nursing college in Pathanamthitta was turned into an Omicron cluster recently.