New Delhi: With Delhi reporting a two-fold rise in fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, concerns are growing among parents about safety of their school-going children. In the backdrop of a sudden and sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases, a lot of parents are divided over the issue whether schools and colleges should be closed again – at least till the time the situation goes back to normal.
It may be noted that Delhi on Tuesday reported 2,495 new cases as against 1,372 reported on the previous day, while there were as many as seven deaths, as per the health bulletin.
Seven fresh fatalities due to coronavirus infection is the highest in nearly 180 days, while the single day infections rose to 2,495, the health department data shared on Tuesday said.
It was on February 13 that the city had reported 12 deaths due to the viral disease. The new coronavirus cases were the highest in 180 days, while the positivity rate stood at 15.41 per cent. The city on February 3 had recorded 2,668 cases and 13 fatalities.
No need to panic, says Delhi CM
Despite the spike in new cases over the last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that there is no need to panic as most of the new cases were mild in nature.
What do health experts say?
Health experts, however, believe that schools should not be closed. There is, however, a need to reinforce COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, something which the elders and the younger cohort are not adhering to, they say.
As a result, school management are bringing measures such as sending recorded lectures to students who are ill, allowing online classes for those in isolation and putting study tours on hold.
Anil Sachdev, Director of the Paediatrics Intensive Care at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, has warned that children are at an increased risk due to the coronavirus and seasonal illnesses.
“However, we have seen that children have had mild Covid symptoms. Only two children in the last one month were serious but they had comorbidities. One child had Down syndrome and the other had some comorbidities but those children have recovered. Schools should not be closed but there is a need to reinforce Covid-appropriate behaviour, something which the elders and the younger cohort is not adhering to,” he said.
Implementation of GRAP in Delhi
Despite the rise in the Covid-19 positivity rate, the Delhi government is not implementing the graded response action plan (GRAP) devised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority since the hospital admissions are low.
The GRAP came into force in August last year, stipulating measures to be taken by the government in accordance with the positivity rate and bed occupancy for locking and unlocking of various activities. There are 253 containment zones in the city, it added.
The Delhi government has directed district magistrates to ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is followed, even as experts have said people becoming carefree towards maintaining social distancing norms was behind the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the capital.
The government has directed DMs of 11 revenue districts to increase drives to issue challans in case people are not following social distancing norms, officials said.
The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Delhi had touched the record high of 28,867 on January 13 this year during the third wave of the pandemic. The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the third wave of the pandemic.