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Indian: Health expert cautions against decision to reopen schools

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An Indian health expert says that the decision to reopen schools in the country has to be taken very cautiously.

V.K. Paul, a member of the government’s think-tank: the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (commission), gave the warning during a media briefing.

He said that it was because the new COVID-19 cases were showing a downward trend, and authorities in various states were beginning to ease restrictions and started unlocking.

However, the decision to open schools and educational institutions was yet to be taken.

Paul said, “School is a crowd, a medium or large gathering, which gives opportunity for virus to infect.

“So, we should take that risk only when we are rather better protected, virus is suppressed and we are able to sit at a distance.

“But, it is not easy to take this decision to open schools when an unpredictable situation is prevalent,’’ he said.

Paul said that the decision had to be taken cautiously, adding that the COVID-19 virus was suppressed at present due to discipline and restrictions prevalent in many states.

“If we ease restrictions and open schools, then the virus gets opportunities to infect,’’ he said.

India’s Federal Government had cancelled the classes 10 and 12 board examinations citing uncertain conditions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The government said that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) would take steps to compile the results as per “well-defined objective criteria.’’

India’s COVID-19 tally surpassed the 30-million marks and the deaths toll crossed 390,000 on Wednesday, said the Federal Ministry of Health.

While the tally rose to 30,028,709, the aggregate death toll reached 390,660.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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