Kerala govt. steps up surveillance in schools

Directives follow spike in cases in two Malappuram schools

The Kerala government has issued directives to enhance school-level surveillance against COVID-19.

The directives were issued in the wake of reports that 190 students and 70 teachers of two government schools in Malappuram had tested positive for COVID-19. Both schools have been closed for disinfecting.

Principals and head teachers of State schools have been asked to ensure that all protocols related to COVID-19 issued by the Directorate of General Education are being followed strictly.

A communication calls for preparation of school COVID-19 cell reports every day and their andover to the Health and Education Departments. Proper use of masks and sanitisers should be ensured. Teachers have been asked to ensure that students do not crowd bus-stops near schools. If need be, principals or head teachers can depute teachers to monitor gatherings there. Senior education officials have been told to visit schools and send daily reports to the Director of General Education.

Director of General Education Jeevan Babu K. told The Hindu that guidelines for following the COVID-19 protocol had already been issued to schools. Though these were in place, precautionary measures would be strengthened further so that any COVID cases inside schools were contained. Measures such as use of masks and sanitisers, and physical distancing would be re-emphasised. Even bus-stops would be monitored.

As students could be exposed to COVID-19 not only in schools but outside too, meetings of parent-teacher associations would be convened. They would be given guidelines on reducing risks to the extent possible, as not much time remained for examinations, he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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