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Centre issues SOPs for reopening of schools

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With the Union home ministry leaving it upon state governments to decide when to reopen schools and coaching centres, the Department of School Education and Literacy on Monday issued detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of schools.

Notably, the schools are shut since March when the Union government imposed the lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

What do the SOPs suggest?

As per the SOPs, students will be allowed to attend schools only with the written consent of parents and there will be flexibility in attendance. Also, students can opt for online classes.

The schools have been instructed to maintain proper sanitization of equipment and classrooms. This apart, schools have been also asked to constitute task forces that will be entrusted to ensure hygiene and quick response to any emergency situation.

As expected, masks are mandatory for teachers and students along with maintaining physical distancing.

Schools will be required to make a “comprehensive academic calendar” for the whole year focusing on the learning outcomes, following the alternative calendar prepared by the NCERT. Schools must also ensure “smooth transition” from home-based schooling to formal schooling, the guidelines said.

Also Read: GSEB announces 30% reduction in class 9 to 12 curriculum in Gujarat

The education department has also asked States and Union Territories to develop their own SOP based on the Centre’s guidelines.

66.23 lakh COVID-19 cases in India

The health ministry on Monday informed that 74,442 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India in the past 24 hours. The addition of the fresh cases has taken the COVID-19 case tally to 66.23 lakh.

So far, the biggest single-day surge of 97,894 COVID-19 cases was reported in India on September 17. The second-highest surge of 97,570 COVID-19 cases was recorded on September 12. It is followed by 96,551 cases reported on September 11.

Notably, India has already surpassed Brazil in terms of cases. It is now the second-worst hit nation due to the coronavirus pandemic after the US.

1.02 lakh deaths due to coronavirus

Also, 903 COVID-19 related deaths were reported by the ministry during this period. The addition of the fresh fatalities has taken India’s death toll due to the deadly virus to 1,02,685.

Notably, the daily death count due to COVID-19 has remained above 1,000 for the past many days. However, it dipped below the 1000-mark on September 29 when 776 deaths were reported and on October 4 and October 5 when 940 and 903 deaths were reported, respectively. Previously, it had crossed the 1,200-mark on September 16.

Similarly, the case count has remained well past the 70,000-mark for the past few days. However, the biggest surge of over 97,894 cases was reported on September 17.

 

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