On Sunday, November 22, Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar said colleges may be shut again if the coronavirus cases rise. The announcement comes barely six days after the degree and engineering colleges reopened in the state.
The degree, engineering and diploma colleges were reopened on November 17 after eight months of the Covid-19-induced shutdown. Since then, reports emerged that at least 130 students got infected by COVID-19.
“If the cases go up, then, as you have said in your (media) reports, we will have to go for a shutdown once again. There is no alternative,” Sudhakar told media sources in Dharwad while responding to queries about the rising coronavirus cases among students.
The minister’s statement came ahead of Karnataka government’s crucial meeting on Monday to decide on reopening of schools.
Sudhakar conceded that the schools have not yet been reopened in the state for the fear of coronavirus.
Stating that about 120 to 130 students were infected with the coronavirus as per media reports, Dr Sudhakar said he would gather information from senior officials.
Explaining the reason behind reopening the colleges, he said the youth have better immunity.
“I won’t say that the students won’t contract the disease. Youth have more immunity. We have to protect the lives of the students as well as shape their academic future. Since we have a big responsibility, we decided to reopen schools and colleges in a phased manner,” Dr Sudhakar said.
According to officials in the higher education department, the decision to reopen colleges were taken as students were not able to grasp the lessons online due to various reasons such as lack of gadgets, poor connectivity and health issues such as eye-sight.
Besides, the faculties and the college staff were staring at unemployment.
Source: PTINews, States