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Reopen schools in a phased manner: ICMR



Schools need to be reopened in a phased manner with proper implementation of multi-layered COVID-19 protocols, according to experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). An opinion piece titled “Reopening of schools during COVID-19 pandemic: a persistent dilemma” published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research stated that, “There is ample evidence to suggest that children aged 1-17 yr have similar susceptibility to mild form of SARS-CoV-2 infection as in adults. However, the risk of severe disease and mortality in children when compared to adults is much less.”

“However, it would be necessary to examine state-specific as well as district-specific data on earlier waves of infection and the status of adult vaccination coverage to project any plausible third wave and its potential intensity to inform decisions related to schools reopening.”

“It is recommended that schools should have access to on-site testing facilities according to existing country-specific guidelines. Temporary or localised closures of a class or school may occur depending upon the local community transmission levels or if COVID-19 indicators worsen.”