New Delhi: Anticipation has been growing among students, teachers and parents regarding reopening of schools as COVID-19 cases have been on a downward spiral, with governments lifting lockdowns and restrictions across states. After a devastating second wave in April-May, top virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang on Thursday suggested that schools should be reopened in a phased manner with teachers and staff fully vaccinated.Also Read - CDC Leader Adds People With Risky Jobs to COVID Booster List | Deets Here

Last month, Dr Randeep Guleria, Chief of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi had also advocated the staggered reopening of schools in districts with less virus transmission. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: 32 Students of Private School Test COVID +ve in Rajouri On First Day of School Reopening

Speaking to news agency ANI, Dr Kang, who is also Vice-chairman of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Board, said, “The schools should be reopened in a phased manner and frequently sanitised. Social distancing norms should be maintained in the classrooms and all the staff must be vaccinated.” Also Read - Alabama Lawmakers Weigh Using Coronavirus Funds to Build Prisons

She said that the protection of inoculation is needed for those children who have comorbidity conditions. “Healthy children are less likely to contract the disease. The children do not get sick as often as adults, so we need to protect the children with comorbidities,” she noted.

Highlighting that physical interactions with teachers are very important for children, Dr Kang said that the children should be given an opportunity to get out and have social interactions.

“Learning through online classes will surely enhance their skills but physical interactions are very important,” she said.

“Before reopening, all the teachers should be vaccinated and classrooms should have good ventilation. Children should wear masks inside the classroom, and schools can be run on a shift basis. Lot of precautions should be taken before resuming the schools,” the virologist added.