Just five days after schools and colleges reopened in Karnataka, a number of teachers have tested positive for Covid-19 creating a sense of fear among parents and students. In Belagavi district alone, 18 teachers have tested positive for Covid-19. The government had mandated that all teaching and non-teaching staff must undergo a Covid-19 test before educational institutions reopen.
The results of thousands of such tests done have started coming in with several teachers themselves testing Covid-19 positive. The DC of Belagavi, MG Hiremath speaking to the media on Tuesday admitted that four teachers from Chikkodi and 18 from Belagavi have tested positive for the virus. “We restarted educational institutions under the Vidyagama scheme of the government by taking all precautions. For instance, in Kadoli, four teachers in a school have tested positive. We have sealed the school and it will be reopened a week later after it is full sanitised,” he added.
In a similar case in Koppal, two teachers have tested positive and now 23 students are all set to undergo tests for Covid-19. While the education department is saying that they do not have a consolidate number of teaching and non-teaching staff who have tested positive for the virus, medical education minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “There are nearly 10 lakh students in the 10th standard alone. It is but natural that a few may have tested positive amongst the staff in spite of precautions. We are testing them, isolating them and getting them treated. Since it involves the future of lakhs of students, I appeal that we should not spread panic as normalcy is being slowly restored.”
However, several parents have expressed apprehension over the re-opening of schools and colleges. “Nobody would deny that education is important but not at the cost of our children’s lives. I don’t know why the government is adamant on running schools. With the vaccine around the corner, why can’t we just postpone reopening by another few weeks or months?” Vijay Prasad the parent of a college student told HT.
However, the minister Dr Sudhakar asserted that there was no need for any panic and the numbers of those who had tested positive were small. “I am getting the exact data of how many have been infected (due to the virus), meanwhile I appeal to the media that let us not unnecessarily spread panic among the students and parents.”