Schools reopen: Random Covid tests on K'taka students

Random Covid tests on Karnataka students attending offline classes

There are over 38,040 schools in the state offering grades 6 to 8, which are affiliated to the state board and have 31.36 lakh students

Representative Image. Credit: Getty Images

Karnataka students in grade 6 to 8 who want to attend physical classes, set to resume from September 6, will undergo random Covid-19 tests.

The department of primary and secondary education has decided to conduct random tests for children to avoid spreading of the infection. Though the department has already told parents and schools not to allow children with Covid-19 like symptoms to attend physical classes, it has decided to conduct random tests.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh said the department was already conducting tests for students of grade 9 and above who are attending offline classes from August 23.

“So far, we have tested 6,000 students across the state, of which 14 students tested positive for Covid-19 and this exercise will continue even after the commencement of physical classes for grade 6 to 8,” said Nagesh.

Also read: PHANA cautions Karnataka govt on reopening schools

“Though 14 students testing positive among 6,000 tests is a negligible number, we are not taking it lightly. All the primary contacts of these 14 students have been traced and instructed to undergo quarantine. Samples have been collected,” said an official from the department.

The random tests for students and staff are conducted in association with the health and family welfare department by tying up with the nearby primary health centres.

“It is not that we are conducting tests for those with symptoms, but these tests are being conducted by picking students randomly,” the official said.

As per the data provided by the department, of the 2.61 lakh staff working with government and aided institutions, 1.1 lakh have completed two doses of vaccine and 1.4 lakh have got the first dose.

There are over 38,040 schools in the state offering grades 6 to 8, which are affiliated to the state board and have 31.36 lakh students.

The attendance of students to physical classes for grade 9 and above has improved with an overall 65.83% of the students attending class 10 and 64.5% attending class 9 on Tuesday. Even after a week, 33.67% of the schools have not started physical classes.

Bengaluru North and South districts top the list of schools not reopening, with figures of 63.15% and 61.51%, respectively.  

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