Schools are again telling students that they need to wear masks on campuses and in crowded places and sanitise their hands frequently, measures that were part of the Covid protocol and can be as effective in tackling the current spate of viral infections.
One school issued an advisory to parents this week detailing what the children need to do to stay safe from a viral attack and another is being strict about sending children back home if they are suffering from fever, cough or cold.
For several weeks, the southern part of West Bengal has been in the grip of respiratory tract infections, especially among children. The most common symptoms of the infections are fever, cough and cold.
Hand sanitisers are back in common areas in schools and some of them are handing masks to students if they ask for them.
Many doctors have urged people to follow the Covid protocol — such as wearing masks indoors and in crowded places and washing hands with soap or sanitising them frequently — to reduce the chances of infection.
Loreto House has said students can wear masks but is not enforcing a mask mandate. “We have told them (the students) that they can wear mask but are not enforcing it,” said principal Aruna Gomes.
The ICSE (Class X), ISC (Class XII), CBSE (Class X and XII) and Madhyamik exams are under way.
In several schools, students across classes still have some papers left of their annual exams.
“We are being strict on sending children (non-board classes) back home if they show up for an exam despite being unwell,” said Amita Prasad, director, Indus Valley World School.
“We are doing this despite the displeasure of parents because they do not want their children to miss an exam.”
At South City International School, an advisory issued on Monday said: “Examinations are on... both school and board examinations. We need to remind our students to once again follow certain Covid-related guidelines so that they stay safe.”
The advisory says: “Beware of slightest of symptoms like cold, cough and runny nose. Do inform the class teacher as we can isolate the child and conduct examinations separatelly.”
The precautions that the schools have mentioned are washing hands whenever possible, wearing a mask in school and in crowded areas, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
“The board examinations are on and we have told the students that they will have to be careful during this period. We have kept hand sanitisers in the exam hall.,” said Terence John, principal of Julien Day School, Kalyani.