Schools in Kerala can open from November 1, the state government decided after holding a COVID-19 evaluation meeting. Primary classes from 1 to 7 and Classes 10 and 12 can begin physical classes from November 1. By November 15, the rest of the classes can start too. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan gave instructions to make the preparations for classes ready at least 15 minutes earlier.
The Chief Minister said that health experts advised to first start the primary classes. Education and health departments should hold meetings and make the necessary preparations for the school reopening, he said. Children who have little immunity are not expected to attend schools. School health programmes should soon be re-launched. Every precaution should be made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when schools reopen. Special masks should be available for children to wear.
Classes will start from October 4 for college students who have received vaccination against COVID-19.
Classes were being conducted through online or virtual classrooms for the past year and a half since COVID-19 struck the state at the beginning of 2020.
On Saturday, 19,325 cases of COVID-19 were reported from different parts of the state. As many as 27,266 others have recovered from the disease. Out of the 1,80,842 active cases, 13.2% of the people are admitted to hospitals. As many as 143 deaths due to COVID-19 were also reported on Saturday, taking the total toll to 23,439.
Lockdown will be implemented in areas where the WIPR (Weekly Infection Population Ratio) is above 10. As the state has nearly vaccinated 90% of its population with the first dose, antigen testing will be stopped in private labs, said a release from the Chief Minister's office. Antigen testing will be done in government or private hospitals only for emergencies and under the instruction of a doctor.