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AP Schools Reopening: Students & teachers at imminent COVID risk

2020 has been a patience-testing and a gloomy year for the world. While the early months during the pandemic put the world in a lockdown, the ones towards the fag-end of this year seem to be cautioning of a second wave. 
 
While Europe and Americas are already in the grip of a second wave of Coronavirus, India is still wavering in the first wave while also witnessing a dip in active cases. However, that is not to say that we are in less danger. 
 
In Andhra Pradesh, the government took a decision to reopen schools earlier this week, on an odd-even basis for students of high school. The decision was partially welcomed by parents while most of them still fear the safety of their children. 
Within two days of schools reopening across the state, several teachers and students have tested positive for COVID-19. This news is sending chills across the state as it points to how the decision could have been a hasty one by the government. 
 
COVID cases after reopening
 
Eight school students in Kamavarapukota zone of East Yadavalli, and 27 students in Vizianagaram district of classes 9 and 10 have tested positive for the coronavirus. The first day after reopening of schools on November 2, five positive cases were reported in Marripadu Mandal’s Nandavaram, and Pathavellanti in rural mandal of Nellore district. 
 
In Prakasam district of Hanumanthunipadu zone, the headmaster of Gollapalli School tested positive. In Chittoor district, 159 teachers and nine students tested positive till Wednesday. Following these cases, the state government now announced that “only those with negative results will be allowed to conduct classes, or they will have to be in home isolation or a quarantine centre for 14 days.”
 
Cases rise in AP against India trend
 
However, the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, as against a dip across India, is a concern for both parents and students, because of which there is a dip in attendance. Andhra Pradesh is the second worst coronavirus-affected state in the country, with 8,33,708 positive cases. 
 
The state has 9.99 per cent infection positivity rate and 0.81 percent fatality rate. The active cases stand with 21,438, and 6,744 coronavirus related deaths have been reported in the state so far.
 
Going by this scenario, it is imperative for the state government to consider that it is putting many children’s as well as education professionals’ lives at risk with its decision. Let us hope that the government will act in a well thought-out manner to save lives amidst this deadly pandemic. 
 

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