In view of cases being reported at educational institutions in Karnataka, Education Minister BC Nagesh has said that schools will be closed if need be. The Minister was addressing the media on concerns over Omicron and in view of the increase in COVID-19 cases at schools, nursing schools, colleges and hostels. He said the education department is monitoring the situation closely, and though experts have allayed any immediate fears, the government is prepared to take action.
In exam halls, physical distancing is being ensured. We are keeping the option of closure of schools and cancelling examinations open in case of a severe spike in COVID-19 cases. We will watch till the last day, and if we find that there is any impact on the studentsâ€™ health, we won't hesitate to close the school and stop the exam if needed," Minister BC Nagesh said. However, he added that experts have said that there is no immediate need to worry.
The Minister added that at the moment, the focus is on residential schools where COVID-19 cases are being reported more. The district commissioners have been directed to monitor the situation and to ensure the proper following of standard operating procedures, he said.
With fresh COVID-19 concerns, Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai on Monday said the government is closely monitoring the situation in the state and will take decisions on enforcing further containment measures after consulting the experts. In the wake of two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus being detected in the state, and fresh COVID clusters emerging, the Karnataka government on Friday had announced certain preventive measures that included compulsory two-dose vaccination for entering malls, cinema halls or theatres, and for parents of school or college going students.
"All the advice will be placed before the expert committee, depending on the Omicron and Delta variants spread in the coming days and clusters that are emerging, we will get the opinion of the experts, and take an appropriate decision," Bommai said in response to a question on suggestions regarding imposing restrictions on entry to malls and cinema halls to 50 per cent capacity.
The government is ready to face any eventuality, the CM said. "We will act as per the guidelines and recommendations that are given by experts," he added.