DDMA meet on further reopening of schools, restrictions for festival

Currently, schools and coaching centres in Delhi are open for classes 9 to 12 though online learning facilities are also available for students whose parents do not wish to send them to schools due to Covid fears.
Several parents’ groups have demanded restarting physical sessions for students of classes 6-8 in the Capital  (HT archive)
Several parents’ groups have demanded restarting physical sessions for students of classes 6-8 in the Capital  (HT archive)
Updated on Sep 29, 2021 06:20 AM IST
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ByAbhishek Dey, New Delhi

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will meet on Wednesday to discuss further phased re-opening of schools in the city and the regulations to be put in place ahead of Dussehra and Durga Puja festivals in the coming weeks.

“The meeting is scheduled at 10.30am (on Wednesday). Discussions will take place on schools and festivals in the coming weeks,” said a senior DDMA official on Wednesday.

Currently, schools and coaching centres in Delhi are open for classes 9 to 12 though online learning facilities are also available for students whose parents do not wish to send them to schools due to Covid fears.

Several parents’ groups have demanded restarting physical sessions for students of classes 6-8 in the Capital.

Dussehra falls on October 15 and Durga Puja festivities will start from October 11, with the days preceding the festivals often marked by large crowds in market places as people step out for shopping, eating, and entertainment.

Last year, the government allowed Durga Puja committees to conduct the rituals but did not allow visitors to the pandals. Dussehra too was allowed in a few locations with a cap on visitors, and enforcement teams were deployed at the venues.

Since Durga Puja last year, Delhi has witnessed two Covid waves -- in November 2020, cases peaked at an average 8,000 cases per day, while April this year saw an average peak of around 24,000 cases per day, which left the city’s healthcare system overwhelmed and led to thousands of deaths.

Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the epidemiology and communicable diseases division at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said, “Even though cases are less now, people should not let their guards down. Gatherings and crowds should be avoided at all costs. Organisers should go for live video-streaming of events and should not encourage people to gather in any location. People themselves should be careful when they think of stepping out for shopping and entertainment.”

Delhi on Tuesday recorded 34 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths. So far, 25,087 people have died of the viral disease in the city.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021