After a nod by the special COVID Task Force, schools in Goa are all set to resume physical classes for students of standard I-VIII from Monday. Reportedly, Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) guidelines will be issued by the Education Department of the state before the resumption of offline classes. Additionally, the concerned department has also been directed to take school management into confidence before chalking out the modalities of re-opening schools.
Education Department to issue SOPs before reopening of schools
Before welcoming students back to the campus, the schools will be handed over a list of SOPs by the Education Department of Goa including the restrictions on conducting daily assembly of students and following all the COVID protocols, among others. Apart from this, the administration needs to set staggered school timings especially in the localities where educational institutions are present in a cluster.
Purportedly, the committee has also instructed school teachers to make sure that the students do not mingle with each other unnecessarily during school hours. Moreover, the Directorate of Health Services is directed to visit schools regularly and keep a check on students who develop COVID-like symptoms.
Authorities ready with a backup plan as well
According to a top health official, the chance of a third wave of coronavirus was unlikely to hit Goa in a big way, as the infection rate in the state remained low even after the festive season. Dr. Shivanand Bandekar, a member of the Goa government's steering committee for COVID management said that the authority is ready with a backup plan as well, in case, the infections increase after re-opening schools.
"It is not that we will start schools just like that. Back up plan will be like this. Suppose we see that the positivity rate is rising, then our expert committee will immediately meet and take stock of the situation," Bandekar said.
Goa COVID update
Talking about the third wave of coronavirus, Dr. Bandekar said, "If you see the activities around, if the third wave was to come, it would have come by now. You must have seen a lot of festivals have taken place. A lot of tourism is going on. What we see is cases are not rising which is a good sign".
In the last 24 hours, out of the 2,699 samples that were tested for COVID in Goa, only 23 have turned positive. At present, the active caseload of the novel coronavirus in the state stands at a total of 252 cases. Moreover, more than 22.5 lakh doses of vaccine against have been administered in Goa as of now.