Bhubaneswar: The parents and guardians are in a state of panic after 26 teachers and two students of a school in Gajapati district tested positive for COVID-19 a day after the schools in Odisha reopened.
Expressing shock and grave concern over the incident, Bijay Sahu, a resident of the capital city, said that though the state government has decided to reopen the schools, it has to ensure the full-proof health safety of the children. The infected children will not only risk their health but also their families, he pointed out.
On the condition laid down by the government for the parents and guardians to give an undertaking mentioning their willingness to send their children to the schools, he said, “I doubt the parents will ever give such undertaking knowing pretty well that the COVID-19 pandemic still prevails in Odisha.”
On the Gajapati incident, the School and Mass Education Department has said that the test was conducted prior to the reopening of schools and infected teachers and students have not attended the school. The Department has asked the nodal officers in the Gajapati district to keep a close watch on the situation and ensure the safety of the students and the teaching staff.
Asked about the incident, School and Mass Education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said that no students will be forced to attend the physical classes and those who are unwilling to come to school are encouraged for online education.
According to Gajapati’s Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Pradeep Patra, 31 persons including 26 teachers and two students have tested positive in the last 36 hours. Among the 31 persons, 21 teachers are from the Mohana block.
“All the infected persons are asymptomatic and they will be kept in isolation under the COVID-19 guidelines,” The CDMO pointed out.