Jharkhand government directs schools to suspend morning assembly, sports activities
In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in some states of the country, the Jharkhand School Education and Literacy Department has asked schools to suspend morning assembly, cultural programmes and sports activities, officials said on Monday.
The School Education and Literacy department has issued a fresh COVID-19 guideline for schools in Jharkhand in the light of rising COVID-19 cases in some states.
Both private and public schools in Jharkhand opened fully for all classes from this month after a gap of about two years post pandemic-induced closure. But since students are mostly unvaccinated, they could be vulnerable for infection.
As per the new guideline, the schools have been asked to conduct health checkups on a regular basis in coordination with nearest health centres and district administrations have been directed to ensure random COVID-19 test of students and teachers. Morning assembly, cultural programmes and sports activity will remain suspended in schools, an official release said.
The School Education and Literacy Department secretary Rajesh Kumar Sharma in a letter to all deputy commissioners, district education officers and district superintendents of education, has asked them to follow COVID-19 guidelines in a bid to restrict the spread of the disease.
Expressing concern, the secretary said, An increase in the infection rate of Covid-19 is being seen in many states of the country for the past 15 days, which is worrying. At such a time, it is imperative to ensure all necessary initiatives at the priority level to prevent the infection of COVID-19 in the state-run schools.
The schools have been asked to sanitise school premises, classrooms, laboratories, library and others with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution before beginning of educational activities and complete sanitization of the institution every 15 days.
The protocol of mask and social distancing must be followed. Double doses of Covid vaccine must be ensured for all teaching and non-teaching staff. Arrangements for vaccination of students in the age group of 12 and 18 years should be ensured in coordination with the health department.
Health experts in Jharkhand are anticipating substantial rise in fresh infection in next few weeks. Dr Devesh Kumar, professor of community medicine at RIMS and member of Covid-19 task force said that since big cities have started to show uptick in Covid cases, surge in smaller cities is only a matter of time.
“This has been the trend since the outbreak of the pandemic. In another couple of weeks, we are expecting substantial surge in cases. However, it will be early to predict the timeline for the peak but going by the trend of the current surge now, it is triggered by XE variant only. It is a variant of Omicron, which is unlikely to stay for too long. Also, rate of hospitalization too is expected to be minimal,” he said.
As per Covid-19 bulletin issued on Sunday night, state’s overall active cases stand at 23. About a week back, they were only nine active cases in the state.