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Centre issues SOP for partial reopening of schools for classes 9-12 from 21 Sept.

The health ministry has advised that weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.

“Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made Page 5 of 5 mandatory in all class rooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas etc. before beginning of classes and at the end of the day," the guidelines state.

As during the covid-19 pandemic, there have been instances of mental health issues among students, the health ministry has said that the schools should ensure regular counselling is done for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It is advisable that teachers, school counsellors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure emotional safety of the students, say SOPs.

Similar SOPs were also issued on preventive measures to contain spread of covid-19 in skill or entrepreneurship training institutions, higher educational institutions conducting doctoral courses and post graduate studies in technical and professional programs requiring laboratory /experimental work.

India continues to grapple with pandemic as the number of covid-19 cases continue to increase. The total tally of cases on Tuesday reached 42,85,174 with 73,208 people succumbing to the highly infectious disease. According to health ministry, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the five states which account for 62% of the active cases. Maharashtra's share is around 27% of the total active cases, which in terms of absolute numbers is 2.37 lakhs. This apart, nearly 70% of the COVID-19 related deaths are also being reported from 5 states, that is, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

"The states where active cases are mostly concentrated are also, more or less, accounting for most of the deaths. Hence, from the perspective of public health, it is important to take targeted actions in these states, both by the state and Central Governments," said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary.

India has been actively engaged in covid-19 vaccine development. The government on Tuesday said that Russia has requested India's help in manufacturing of vaccine by Indian companies and conduct of Phase-III studies in India. Also, India attaches high importance to the request from a special friend and on both fronts, there has been considerable progress. “We are working with this vaccine candidate for manufacture as well as trial and regulatory facilitation, in the spirit of partnership and science for humanity. The outreach has been extended to the vaccine manufacturers in India," said V.K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.

“About four of them have already come forward, the others are in talks with the Russian counterparts and the Government is facilitating that process of creating a connect. There may be specific outcomes very soon in that regard. India can manufacture that vaccine in large and significant quantities. On the regulatory front, Indian scientists have looked at the data. There would be a need for Phase III trials in normal course of things," he said

AAJTAK NEWS||Divya Bhaskar

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Centre issues SOP for partial reopening of schools for classes 9-12 from 21 Sept.

The health ministry has advised that weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.

“Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made Page 5 of 5 mandatory in all class rooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas etc. before beginning of classes and at the end of the day," the guidelines state.

As during the covid-19 pandemic, there have been instances of mental health issues among students, the health ministry has said that the schools should ensure regular counselling is done for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It is advisable that teachers, school counsellors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure emotional safety of the students, say SOPs.

Similar SOPs were also issued on preventive measures to contain spread of covid-19 in skill or entrepreneurship training institutions, higher educational institutions conducting doctoral courses and post graduate studies in technical and professional programs requiring laboratory /experimental work.

India continues to grapple with pandemic as the number of covid-19 cases continue to increase. The total tally of cases on Tuesday reached 42,85,174 with 73,208 people succumbing to the highly infectious disease. According to health ministry, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the five states which account for 62% of the active cases. Maharashtra's share is around 27% of the total active cases, which in terms of absolute numbers is 2.37 lakhs. This apart, nearly 70% of the COVID-19 related deaths are also being reported from 5 states, that is, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

"The states where active cases are mostly concentrated are also, more or less, accounting for most of the deaths. Hence, from the perspective of public health, it is important to take targeted actions in these states, both by the state and Central Governments," said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary.

India has been actively engaged in covid-19 vaccine development. The government on Tuesday said that Russia has requested India's help in manufacturing of vaccine by Indian companies and conduct of Phase-III studies in India. Also, India attaches high importance to the request from a special friend and on both fronts, there has been considerable progress. “We are working with this vaccine candidate for manufacture as well as trial and regulatory facilitation, in the spirit of partnership and science for humanity. The outreach has been extended to the vaccine manufacturers in India," said V.K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.

“About four of them have already come forward, the others are in talks with the Russian counterparts and the Government is facilitating that process of creating a connect. There may be specific outcomes very soon in that regard. India can manufacture that vaccine in large and significant quantities. On the regulatory front, Indian scientists have looked at the data. There would be a need for Phase III trials in normal course of things," he said

AAJTAK NEWS||Divya Bhaskar

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