Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said a specific wing in schools or classrooms where a COVID-19 case has been detected should be closed temporarily and clarified that the entire school should only be closed in specific cases.
The comments by Mr Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister, came against the backdrop of rising cases of COVID-19 among school children and staff members. A meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has been called on April 20 to review the situation in the national capital.
“We haven’t asked them to close schools. Our guidelines say that only a specific wing or classroom where someone was found COVID positive should be temporarily closed. Schools can take a decision to close the entire premises in specific cases where an infected child or staff has been through multiple areas of the school…we have made it decentralised,” Mr Sisodia said in response to a question during a press conference.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) issued a fresh advisory for schools in the national capital on April 13, directing them to close the entire premises or specific wings temporarily if any student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.
The department also said students and staff must wear masks and maintain social distancing to the extent possible.
“We will review the COVID situation in our next DDMA meeting on April 20. In the meeting, there are experts who are keeping an eye on new variants and they present their observations and analysis in the context of Delhi, which helps us to make informed decision,” Mr Sisodia said.
Delhi reported 325 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, while the positivity rate stood at 2.39 per cent, according to data shared by the city’s health department.
Reports of infections from schools have sparked concerns, weeks after they opened for completely offline classes following a two-year gap due to the pandemic.