Priority is to see that everyone has vaccine coverage
In an attempt to prevent COVID-19 clusters in schools, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has directed all shops and eateries around educational institutions to ensure that their staff are vaccinated.
This decision was taken in the wake of around 60 students of Sri Chaitanya Girls’ Residential School, near Electronics City, testing positive for COVID-19 last week. “All the school staff are vaccinated, but students during short breaks or after school hours often visit general stores and eateries to grab some refreshments. We want to ensure that people working there too are vaccinated so that the possibility of students contracting the virus is reduced,” said D. Randeep, Special Commissioner (Health), BBMP.
Proprietors who don’t comply will be ordered to down shutters until all their staff are vaccinated. Mr. Randeep, however, added that the civic body does not want to close the shops unless absolutely necessary, and that the priority is to ensure that everyone has vaccine coverage. “Our teams will verify this during the block-level vaccination programmes,” he said.
The civic body has entrusted the implementation of this order to the nodal officers in schools and the closest Primary Health Centre (PHC). “Nodal officers attached to schools and PHC staff can collaborate and ensure that shopkeepers have only staff who are vaccinated working at their stores,” Mr. Randeep said.
The move has been welcomed by school managements, parents and teachers. Ritika S.,a parent of a Class VIII student said, “I have tried to tell my son to immediately return home after classes and not mingle with his classmates. But some days, he needs to get some photocopies and often stops to eat some snacks. It will help if the BBMP can enforce this rule,” she said.
School managements have supported the move. “I will ensure that shops and eateries around our school furnish vaccination details of their staff,” said Sumanth Narayana, founder, Shanthinikethana School.
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