AIIMS Delhi chief Dr Randeep Guleria is of the view that with proper planning and Covid appropriate behaviour, schools should be reopened in places having positivity rates below 5 per cent
AIIMS Delhi chief Dr Randeep Guleria has come out in favour of reopening schools in a gradual manner as data shows that children have a high level of immunity to Covid-19. According to him, this would allow children to resume their overall development which has suffered as schools have been shut since March last year.
Speaking on India Today TV, Dr Randeep Guleria said that “schools could be opened in a staggered way so that half the children can come on alternate days in districts that are seeing less virus circulation.”
Dr Guleria, who is also a member of India's Task Force on Covid-19, said it was worth giving a try as the education of many children was suffering and in case coronavirus infections were detected the schools could be shut again.
He is of the view that with proper planning and Covid appropriate behaviour, schools should be reopened “in places having positivity rates below 5 per cent.”
Dr Guleria pointed out that a lot of children from the economically weaker section did not have any access to online classes and they were suffering the most. Many poor kids are also losing out on the mid-day meal scheme which was of immense benefit to them, he added.
He cited a UNICEF report which has highlighted the huge gaps in Internet access across various segments of the population to support his argument.
Dr. Guleria had also stated last month that there is no data, either from India or globally, to show that children will be seriously infected in subsequent waves.
The Union Health Ministry had also issued a statement to dispel doubts and fears that are prevailing over the vulnerability of children to Covid-19.
Dr. V. K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog had said on June 1 that COVID-19 in children is often asymptomatic and seldom requires hospitalization. However, it is possible that a small percentage of children who get infected may need hospitalization. He had informed that adequate arrangements are being made in terms of healthcare infrastructure in order to provide effective care and treatment to children who may get infected.