As the schools reopen after summer vacations, Maharashtra Paediatric Task Force has stressed upon strictly following Covid norms to avoid any further spread amongst the children, who are considered vulnerable population after senior citizens. This comes after cases have been surging across the state and sub-variants of Omicron have been detected due to which parents are hesitant to send their children to schools. Health experts said there is no need for panic as current cases are very mild. However, they cautioned parents to watch for seasonal flu as it has similar symptoms like Covid.
Senior doctors from the state health department said the task force members have suggested to monitor if the schools are adhering to Covid norms of masking, social distancing and hand sanitising. Moreover, the task force also suggested forming a committee at the school level to look after guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed at schools suggested by them.
“The SOPs include re-organizing the classrooms to allow spacing among children, re-designing school premises to prevent transmission and setting up ‘school health clinic’ that should be run by a trained nurse-aide appointed by the school or a volunteer or a trained teacher or doctor-parent,” he said.
Dr Bakul Parekh, paediatrician and member of the paediatric task force, said currently they are monitoring the cases. Averring that there is no need of panicking though sub-variants are being detected in Maharashtra, the medico said, “We have a very low hospitalisation rate which is a good sign, so parents should not be worried about it. They only have to see that their children are following Covid norms strictly to which school administration have to also strictly keep a tab on each child,” he said. Children who are eligible for vaccination should get vaccinated with immediate effect; it is the only way to be protected from the virus, he added.