Even as coronavirus pandemic persists, people are hitting the roads, attending jobs and tending to their businesses. Moreover, with schools and colleges set to reopen in a few months’ time and board exams to be held offline, it is time for students to be back to school. The Optimist News tried to find out ways in which youngsters and kids will be able to deal with the pandemic and keep themselves safe from the deadly virus, as they join their academic institutions.
Precautionary measures are important to stay safe from the virus, but that’s a difficult thing to follow when you meet your friends after almost a year! School authorities will have a decisive role to play in order to ensure safety. Sharing about the precautionary measures, Paediatrician Dr. Shantanu Ray from Kolkata says, “Every class should be divided into smaller groups. School hours should be made in such a way that crowding is avoided. Half the classes should be attending schools on alternative days. This will be the new-normal protocol. With fewer students teachers will be able to monitor properly while imparting lessons in the classroom. Sanitizers should be provided to each child, hence, it should be handy for random usage.”
Speaking about the customized precautionary measures for every school and college, Dr. Tapabrata Das shares, “Mask is mandatory. Precautionary measures to be arranged depend upon the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Physical distancing of at least six feet will help reduce chances of transmission, but absolute reduction will not be possible even then. Most youngsters are asymptomatic carriers. So instead of having COVID19 specialists at schools and colleges, there should be a standing order from the authorities of institutions saying, anyone with symptoms of COVID19 like fever should not come attend classes for the safety of others.”
Adding to this, Dr. Ray informs, “Young kids and students should be taught about the COVID19 precautions both at schools and at their home before schools reopen. Though every child is aware of it nowadays, still a prep talk should be done. They should be provided COVID19 scenario lesson sessions – which will give them an in-depth knowledge to be freed from any kind of inhibition or confusion. For instance, if the child is having fever he should go for a Covid test and if parents instigate them to attend school, they shall say No to it, because it might lead to virus spread. The primary motto is to build awareness among children.”
In countries like India, where population density is high, it is tough to control the rapid transmission. “In a densely populated country like India, it won’t be possible to organize periodic testing in schools and colleges, so symptomatic children and teachers should remain aware and avoid attending the institutions. Also, I personally believe that till the vaccination schedules are not ready, it will be risky to open academic institutions,” notifies Dr. Das.
Along with proper precautionary measures, Dr. Das adds, “Children should be taught proper ways of wearing mask, probable symptoms of coronavirus such as fever, Hyposmia, Anosmia et al. I believe the mantra to remain safe during this pandemic is self-monitoring and widespread awareness.”
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