VIJAYAWADA: As many as 829 teachers and 575 students, all from government high schools, have tested positive for Covid-19 in the State after the schools reopened on November 2. Classes resumed for ninth and 10th and second year Intermediate students three days ago, adhering to Covid-19 norms.
According to the statistics provided by the School Education Department, a total of 70,790 out of the total 1.89 lakh government teachers were tested for Covid-19. Of them, 1.17 per cent --- 829 -- teachers tested positive for the virus. While the highest number of 172 teachers tested positive in East Godavari, followed by 141 in Srikakulam. No teacher from Krishna tested positive for the virus. The reason for this is that only 26 teachers were tested for Covid-19 in the district while the number of tests conducted in other districts was in hundreds.
With respect to students, 95,763 students were tested for the virus and of them, 575 tested positive. This comes to 0.60 per cent. School Education Commissioner V Chinna Veerabhadrudu, however, maintained that the figures are not alarming.
“About four lakh students are attending school across the State everyday. This means that the number of students who tested positive is not even 1 per cent of the total students attending classes. With respect to teachers also, as on Wednesday, 99,000 teachers, out of the total 1.11 lakh, attended schools and only 829 have tested positive,” he explained.
He also stated that in case of teachers, the Covid tests were conducted before the schools reopened and in most of the cases the results had come after resumption of classes. “In case of students, we cannot conclude that they contracted the virus because they started going to school. There are two reasons - first, all the schools are found to be following each and every rule prescribed as per the Covid-19 protocol and second, in maximum cases the students’ parents are coming to drop and pick up them and barely any students are going home in groups on their own,” said Chinna Veerabhadrudu. A total of 9.75 lakh students have registered for class 9 and 10 in the State.
Of them, around four lakh students have been attending classes. Asked about any change in plans for reopening of schools for other classes in the wake of Covid-19 cases among students and teachers, the Education Commissioner replied in negative. “It is too early to take any such decision. We have to consider the students who belong to the ‘no-tech’ category (does not have access to online classes) as they suffered the most during the lockdown. After observing the situation for a few more days, we will take an appropriate decision. For now, we have instructed the schools to let the students of lower class disperse an hour before the higher class. Similarly, other guidelines will also be added to ensure safety of students,” he added.