Over 150 Haryana government school students test positive for Covid-19 in a fortnight

More than 150 Haryana government school students have tested positive for Covid-19 in Jhajjar, Jind and Rewari districts since the educational institutions reopened after eight months for Classes 9 to 12 on November 2.

Seventy-eight students of government schools were found infected in Rewari, at least 30 in Jind and 34 in Jhajjar.

Rewari district education officer (DEO) Rajesh Kumar said of the 78 cases reported since the reopening, 25 students tested positive in the past two days.

“We have sealed the Government Senior Secondary School at Kund village for two weeks after 19 students tested positive for Covid-19. According to norms, a school is closed for 48 hours for sanitisation if one positive case is detected. The school is closed for two weeks if the contacts of the students are found positive,” he said.

Dr Gopal, deputy civil surgeon Jind, said as many as 49 people, including 10 teachers and over 30 students, have been found infected so far in the district.

“ We have been asking the school management to follow safety guidelines and inform us if any of their student and staff experience any symptom of the disease. It is not advisable to shut down the schools as the students have suffered a lot. If the school will follow safety guidelines, the students will able to continue their studies,” he added.

Dr Sunil Lakhra, the district medical officer at Jhajjar, said samples of 1,197 students from 12 government schools have been collected in the past two weeks. Of them, 34 tested positive.

“Most students found positive are asymptomatic. We have sanitised their schools,” he said.

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “It is a sign of worry that a total of 149 students and 12 teachers have tested positive for the virus.”

“Will CM and education minister take cognisance of the situation. Is government adhering to social distancing and other guidelines in the schools? Does CM have any plan to stop the spread of the virus?” he questioned.

Social distancing norms violated

When this reporter visited the Government Senior Secondary School at Kheri Asadh village on the Rohtak-Delhi road last week, most students were found violating social distancing norms. Students had not been provided coloured masks and badges to segregate them into groups for distancing.

At the Government Senior Secondary School for Girls at Bohar village, students said that they were being allowed to enter only after checks, including thermal screening.

Tanu Nandal, a student of the school, said, “Thermal scanning is done at the gate itself and we observe distancing in the classroom. We carry our own water bottles and tiffins. Only one student is allowed to go to the toilet at a time.”

Three students had tested positive for the virus at a government school in Jind’s Narwana on November 6, four days after schools reopened amid the pandemic.

Haryana on Wednesday reported 30 more coronavirus deaths, its highest single-day fatality count so far, even as 2,562 fresh cases pushed the state’s infection tally to 2,07,039. So far, 2,093 people have died from the infection in the state, according to a health department bulletin.

Bharat Biotech will start the phase 3 clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, at Rohtak’s PGIMS from Friday. PGIMS V-C Dr OP Kalra said the trial will be conducted in partnership with ICMR.

“The phase 3 trials will involve 1,000 volunteers from Haryana out of 25,800 across India. The trial has been registered and approved. We will administer two intramuscular injections, about 28 days apart. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either two 6microgram injections of Covaxin or two shots of a placebo. The volunteers will be 18 years and above. This time, patients suffering from other diseases can also take part in the human trials,” he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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