In the wake of a third – and most severe, so far – wave of infections in the national capital, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia told NDTV on Tuesday there is no chance of reopening schools anytime soon.
“No chances of schools opening soon. No parent would want to send their children until they are assured that they will be safe,” said Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio. He added that no parent would risk their children’s health at this time.
Late last month, the Delhi government said all city schools would remain closed till further notice. At the time, Sisodia said the decision was based on feedback from parents. “We keep getting feedback from parents… they are concerned about whether it is safe… it is not,” he had said then.
As part of the latest Unlock 5.0 guidelines issued on September 30, the Centre has allowed schools (outside containment zones) to re-open for classes 9 through 12. The guidelines suggested several measures including staggered timings to minimise the spread of the virus, but the final decision was left to state governments.
Delhi has been battered by a sudden spike in fresh cases over the past few weeks. The city has added over one lakh Covid cases since November 1 and is witnessing an average of over 6,000 per day over the past week.
Experts had earlier predicted a jump in infections in the national capital region due to winter, festive seasons and worsening air quality due to stubble burning would. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal flagged the issue on Tuesday during a virtual meeting with prime minister Narendra Modi and other state leaders.
“Stubble burning and Covid is a deadly combination… we have to understand the root case. (We are) not saying it (the rise in cases) is just because of stubble burning, but north Indian states are seeing a sudden increase now,” Manish Sisodia told NDTV after the meeting.
Also read: School reopening: State-wise updatePosted in News, States