Covid-19 in India: Top govt schools turned into quarantine facilities

Updated on Apr 10, 2020 03:42 PM IST

Coronavirus update: India plans to ramp up Covid-19 testing to deal with the pandemic better and it is likely to lead to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Migrant workers rest inside a classroom of a school turned into a shelter during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad.(REUTERS)
Migrant workers rest inside a classroom of a school turned into a shelter during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad.(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAmandeep Shukla

Over 90 Centre-run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) have been turned into quarantine centres across India as part efforts to create additional heathcare infrastructure to deal with any major spike in the number of the coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, according to officials aware of the matter.

India plans to ramp up Covid-19 testing to deal with the pandemic better and it is likely to lead to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

According to official data, as many as 60 KVs and 33 JNVs have been converted into quarantine facilities in places like Balasore in Odisha, Karnataka’s Bidar, Tinsukia (Assam) and Joshimath in Uttarakhand.

One of the officials cited above said of the 645 JNVs across the country, 400 such schools have been offered for the creation of facilities to isolate 2.5 lakh people. There are over 1,100 KVs.

Union human resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had directed an assessment of how the premier central schools could offer support in the fight to against the pandemic.

The 60 KVs are spread across 26 regions and state and defence ministry authorities have taken them over for creating quarantine facilities.

In the Agra region alone, four KVs in Sarsawa, Chandinagar, Surajpur and Hindon have been taken over by authorities combating the virus. Similarly, four schools in Baroda, Ahmedabad and Jamnagar (Gujarat) have been turned into isolation centres. Two schools have been taken over by authorities in the Bengaluru region.

Buildings of 10 KVs have been converted into quarantine centres in the Chandigarh region and seven in the Jammu region.

B K Singh, the commissioner of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti that runs JNVs, said his organisation has been contributing in the mitigation of the impact of Covid 19 by offering around 400 Schools, with a capacity of isolating around 2.5 lakh persons, spread over 400 districts. “Already in 33 schools, it [quarantine centres] is functioning,” Singh said.

Singh said they had advanced the internal exams and concluded them by March 18. “So, the academic session was completed and by March 21, summer vacation was announced ahead of the scheduled up to May 25.”

He said due to the lockdown imposed to check the pandemic, around 20-25 students have been unable to return to their homes. “In view of this unforeseen situation, the students staying on different campus continue to access to mess halls, libraries, smart classes, games, TV etc. However, these campuses have been locked down.”

An official said the students have been offered facilitated like video calling, text messaging and calling free of cost.

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