New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: In a major development towards reopening of schools across India, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, stated that whenever India starts reopening of schools, it should do so with the primary schools first.

“Once India starts considering, it'll be wise to open primary schools first before opening secondary schools,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, who is also the secretary of Department of Health Research, a division under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Dr Bhargava cautioned that before the reopening of primary schools, all the support staff needs to be vaccinated, whether it be school bus drivers, teachers and other staff in the school.

Taking the reference of Scandinavian countries (such as Finland, Norway and Sweden), Dr Bhargava said that these countries did not shut their primary schools in any COVID waves.

“We know clearly that children can handle viral infections much better than adults. Antibody exposure is also similar in children as adults,” Dr Bhargava said on an optimistic note.

Seroprevalence 57.2 to 61.6 per cent in 6-17 age-group: Govt

The government also published the figures of the fourth round of serosurvey which was conducted in 70 districts across the country in June-July, in which about two-third of those surveyed had antibodies against COVID-19.

The overall seroprevalence was 67.6 per cent in the entire population. In the 6-9 age group, it was 57.2 per cent and among 10-17-year-olds, it was 61.6 per cent. In the age group of 18-44 years, it was 66.7 per cent and in 45-60 years, it was 77.6 per cent.

Which states have reopened the schools?

Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have announced the partial reopening of the schools, mostly for the higher secondary classes with 50 per cent capacity. None of the states, however, have started the reopening of schools of primary school children.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma