The Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) issued guidelines regarding the disinfection and mandatory Rt-PCR tests for teachers before the opening of the schools. The civic body also has designated laboratories for schools where teachers can undergo the mandatory COVID 19 tests. The Maharashtra government has decided to reopen schools for classes 9 to 12 from November 23 across the state. However, teachers raised concern over a host of issues from getting tests done in time in such a short period to denial of tests by laboratories.
The civic body issued a circular on Thursday regarding disinfections of school premises and designated test centre. As per the circular, school teachers and other administrative staff of private schools that fall under the civic body’s control can get their COVID-19 tests done at Upzilla Rugnalaya in Panvel. Similarly, schools run by PMC can get their teacher and staff tests at the same hospital.
However, private schools’ teachers and other staff have to bear the cost of the tests and they can undergo Rt-PCR tests at the ICMR approved laboratories. “Private hospitals teachers and other staff's tests will not be conducted at the Upzilla Rugnalaya in Panvel. They should not visit there,” said a senior civic official.
“All teaching and non-teaching staff of schools will conduct Rt-PCR tests only at ICMR approved laboratories and at the rate fixed by the state government. If they conduct at other places, the civic body will take action,” said the official.
Initially, school teachers faced a lot of difficulties in getting their Rt-PCR tests as laboratories sought doctors’ prescriptions. Later, schools reported about the difficulties following which the civic body issued the circular and designated it for tests.
The civic body has also directed school managements to complete the disinfection work of school premises well before the deadline and ensure that thermal screening is done of every student. “Initially, only three subjects English, Maths and Science will be allowed for Rt-PCR tests and gradually other teachers will also undergo for the tests,” said the official.