The reopening of schools for some grades makes the situation different from last year when cases increased in the first wave. At that time, a lockdown was in place and schools were closed.
Karnataka’s capital, Bengaluru, is seeing a huge surge in the COVID-19 numbers and children are not being spared in this spike. As per the data released on Tuesday evening, Of the nearly 2,000 positive cases, 50 were children under the age of ten years. Around 500 children have tested positive for the highly contagious virus so far this month.
The city corporation, however, says there is no real surge in the cases among the very young.
“Since March 1, we have tested nearly 32,000 school students. Out of this, only 121 tested positive – just .38 per cent (of total cases). So, we can clearly say that children are not infected in large numbers in Bengaluru,” Manjunath Prasad, the outgoing Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner, told NDTV.
He said the group which is getting affected in the city is between the age of “20 to 40 years”.
The reopening of schools for some grades makes the situation different from last year when cases increased in the first wave. At that time, a lockdown was in place and schools were closed. Additionally, children are out of the house now more often now as compared to the days of the lockdown.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had made it clear that despite the rising numbers, the schools would stay open.
“If children come to school they will be in one place with discipline. If they are at home they will be mixing with everybody. It is good for schools to continue from the point of view of control. Exams will be held in 15 days,” said Mr Yediyurappa.
Mr Prasad felt the same. “The situation does not warrant closing of schools for now,” he said.
However, not all students and parents are convinced.
Kanchana was picking up her child from school when she told NDTV, “Better to close the school – we should take care. And there are aged persons at home. “
Viriksha, a student, said, “In our school, social distancing is not being maintained. There are more corona cases and they are not testing also.”
With Covid protocols not always observed, everyone is vulnerable – and that includes the youngest members of our society.