BENGALURU: With schools in Karnataka reopening from August 23, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday said the government has taken "extreme care" to ensure classroom learning for students, while protecting them from the COVID pandemic.
"Preparations have been made for reopening schools. Necessary directions have been given to government and private schools regarding how to bring students, taking consent from parents or guardians, seating arrangements, alternate days shift wise classes, sanitisation, among other things," Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said he will be personally visiting schools in Bengaluru and surrounding areas along with Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh on Monday, when they reopen.
"We have taken extreme care to ensure classroom learning for students while protecting them from COVID-19. We are taking necessary steps in this direction," he added.
The Karnataka government earlier this month had decided to reopen schools for students from class 9 to 12 (II PUC) across the state from August 23 in alternate batches.
However, choosing to remain cautious, it subsequently decided not to reopen schools in districts where the COVID-19 positivity rate is over 2 per cent.
The decision on resuming primary schools has been deferred till the last week of August to factor in the possible third wave of COVID and the way the infection is likely to spread.
The Chief Minister appealed to parents to get vaccinated, to pay attention to the health of their children and instill confidence in them.
Asked whether children can attend classes without any fear, he said, "Absolutely, our intention behind reopening schools is that children should slowly start coming to schools, for about one-and-half year they have not been to schools, we want them to gradually start attending," he added.
The state reported 1,350 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 29,37,427 and the toll to 37,123.
The day also saw 1,648 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 28,79,433.
With 320 new cases, Dakshina Kannada outnumbered the state capital Bengaluru Urban that reported 260 infections on Saturday.
The total number of active cases in the state is now 20,845.
While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.85 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 1.33 per cent.
Out of 18 deaths reported on Saturday, four were from Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Kolar and Shivamogga accounted for two each, followed by others.
Dakshina Kannada district topped in number of cases (320), Bengaluru Urban came next with 260, Udupi had 177, Mysuru 102 and Hassan 101, while the rest were scattered in other districts.
Bengaluru Urban district headed the list of positive cases, with a total of 12,34,769, followed by Mysuru 1,75,182 and Tumakuru 1,18,887.
Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban was on top with 12,11,014, followed by Mysuru 17,18,34 and Tumakuru 1,17,072.
Cumulatively a total of 4,18,39,866 samples have been tested in the state so far, out of which 1,57,509 were on Saturday alone.