Students sitting on the floor and studying in a UP government upper primary school. (HT file photo)
Students sitting on the floor and studying in a UP government upper primary school. (HT file photo)

Wise to reopen primary sections first, says govt

  • Director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research Dr Balram Bhargava was asked if it was now time to reopen schools as many districts in the country were reporting less than 5% Covid-19 test positivity rate.
By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 21, 2021 01:18 AM IST

New Delhi: Director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Balram Bhargava on Tuesday said it would be wise to first open the primary section if states decide to reopen schools as younger children are better equipped to handle Covid-19, followed by secondary and senior secondary schools.

“Once India starts reopening schools, it will be wise to begin with the primary section as children have a lower number of ace receptors to which virus attaches, making them much better at handling viral infections than adults,” he said during the Union health ministry briefing on Covid-19 on Tuesday.

He, however, stressed that for such a step to be considered, it must be ensured that school teachers and other support staff such as attendants, bus drivers etc. are fully vaccinated.

Bhargava was asked if it was now time to reopen schools as many districts in the country were reporting less than 5% Covid-19 test positivity rate.

The fourth round of pan-India sero survey conducted by ICMR also showed that the seroprevalence in children between six and nine years of age was 57.2%, making it almost similar to adults.

“There was a slight change in this current round of sero survey. In that, we also included children between six and 17 years of age. Over 50% showed exposure to the virus,” Dr Bhargava added.

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