NEW DELHI: After a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) was held to discuss whether schools in the capital should be reopened and an expert committee was formed to examine the issue, many principals and students felt that schools should be reopened as COVID-19 cases have dropped.
Speaking to ANI, Mahendra Pal Sharma, principal of ASVJ School, Daryaganj said, "Students are willing to come to school but their parents are against it as most of the students have not received COVID-19 vaccination".
He added," Parents and students should mentally prepare themselves as it has been almost a year. Students are taking online classes and things need to be normal now with precautions against COVID-19".
Pavitra, a class 11th student living in East Delhi's Priya Enclave said, "Schools should open now because we have been at home for a long time. Online classes become difficult to understand at times. So studying in class makes more sense."
Samyak a student in 8th standard also believes that schools should be opened now. "The continuous closure of schools is affecting our mental health. The result of this is that neither we are able to meet friends nor are we able to discuss anything. Not only students but parents also say that schools should be opened now, he added.
Earlier on August 1, the Education Department of the state had issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the re-opening of schools from August 2 for classes 9th to 12th and August 16 for classes 6th to 8th.
With Covid-19 cases now dropping, Delhi has relaxed most restrictions on public movement and outdoor activities.
The national capital recorded 72 fresh COVID-19 cases and one death due to the disease on Saturday, while the positivity rate rose to 0.10 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.
This is a marked increase in the number of daily cases, as 44 cases were reported in the city on Friday.
The coronavirus death toll in the city has now risen to 25,066, according to the latest health bulletin.
On Friday, five deaths were also reported, while the positivity rate had stood at 0.06 per cent, according to official figures.
On Thursday, 61 cases with a positivity rate of 0.08 per cent, and two deaths were recorded.
No death due to COVID-19 was recorded in Delhi on Wednesday, while 67 fresh cases were reported with a positivity rate of 0.09 per cent.
This was the fifth time since the starting of the second wave of the pandemic in the national capital when zero fatality had been logged in a day.
On July 18, July 24, July 29 and August 2 too, no death due to COVID-19 was recorded, according to official data.
On March 2 this year, the national capital had reported zero death due to the virus.
On that day, the number of single-day infections stood at 217 and the positivity rate was 0.33 per cent.
The second wave swept the city during April-May period.
Delhi reported 72 cases and one death due to the disease on Saturday, while the positivity rate stood at 0.10 per cent, according to the health bulletin.
The infection rate, which had reached to 36 per cent in the last week of April, had been hovering below 0.10 per cent-mark in the last several weeks.
But it reached to 0.10 per cent again on Saturday.
On February 16, ninety-four people were diagnosed Covid positive while the daily tally was 96 on January 27, according to official figures.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday had said the city government was preparing to set up 37,000 beds for COVID-19 patients in anticipation of the third wave of the pandemic, even as he emphasised that if the positivity rate reaches five per cent again then lockdown will be immediately imposed.
Addressing a virtual session hosted by Assocham India, the minister also said that the government was preparing to combat the pandemic's next wave, assuming a "worst-case scenario".
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday had said the total number of anti-coronavirus vaccine doses administered in Delhi has crossed the one-crore mark and of the eligible population in the city 50 per cent have received at least one jab.
Despite fall in daily cases in the last several days, Kejriwal had recently cautioned that the chances of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic were quite real, while he asserted that his government was preparing on a "war-footing" to combat it.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) recently had passed a colour-coded response action plan under which curbs will be implemented in accordance with the severity of the COVID-19 situation here to deal with a possible third wave of the pandemic.
Delhi had been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping the country, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with the recent oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals, adding to the woes.
Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22.
On May 3, the city registered a record 448 deaths, as per the official data.
However, the number of cases have shown a downward trend and the positivity rate too has been shrinking in the last several days.
The number of deaths per day, has also been showing a decline in the last couple of days.
On May 15, Kejriwal had said, "The virus is reducing in Delhi slowly and steadily, and I hope it diminishes completely and does not rise again. However, we are not going to become negligent in anyway", while sounding a tone of caution."
Meanwhile, the DDMA recently announced further lifting of restrictions, in view of the improved coronavirus situation.
Following the relaxations in norms, the Delhi Metro is running with full seating capacity from July 26, with still no provision for standing travel for commuters.
A total of 73,681 tests, including 49,913 RT-PCR tests and 23,768 rapid antigen tests, were conducted a day ago, according to the health bulletin on Saturday.
The number of cumulative cases on Thursday stood at 14,36,695.
Over 14.1 lakh patients have recovered from the virus.
The number of active cases rose to 565 on Saturday from 516 a day before, the bulletin said.
The number of people under home isolation increased to 175 on Saturday from 170 a day before, while the number of containment zones dropped to 264 from 272 on Friday, the bulletin said.
(With PTI Inputs)