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Millennium Post

Schools should remain shut for at least next 2 months: Experts

New Delhi: With Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal already having said that schools in the city will not be reopened until the government is fully convinced of having reined in the pandemic, medical experts here believe that schools should remain shut for at least two more months and that whenever they reopen, it should be done in a phased manner.

Speaking to Millennium Post, Dr Ramani Ranjan, Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist of Motherhood Hospital said that opening schools at this moment would not be a good idea and that reopening education institutes should be done in a phased manner. "I think, a phased manner is the right way. Social distancing is going to be very difficult to which the schools need to have their own guidelines. Meanwhile, minimisation of crowding is essential. Wearing masks all the time is going to be difficult but they could be asked to wash hands and follow norms, which must be taught at home as well," he added.

Dr Neeta Kejriwal, consultant Pediatrician at Manipal Hospital said that there has been a decreasing trend in the number of COVID-19 cases but this was not enough to reopen schools just yet. "We are at the moment seeing a decrease in trend with fewer patients coming to hospitals. Meanwhile, case severity is less in children barring a few exceptions," she said.

However, she said that opening schools for another two months should be ruled out. "Whenever we plan to open the school, rules like physical distancing and sanitisation should be strictly followed. Meanwhile, schools should open in a phased manner. Students from higher classes should start getting classes first," she added.

Dr Ranjan said that the government should follow an exhaustive advisory whenever it decides to open schools. "Delhi has seen a high number of cases and there

are still quite a number of cases, although the number has gone down but the risk is there and there would be an advisory as well," he added.

On the other hand, parents have also said that schools should not be reopened just yet. "I won't send my kid to school for another two months," said Seema, parent to a 12-year daughter who studies in a private school in Dwarka.

Rajeev, who has a son at a government school echoed the same sentiments and said that reopening schools at this moment would create chaos. "Even though cases are coming down, opening schools will create havoc," he added.

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