Health director disapproves reopening of schools
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 16 2021: So far, around 21,214 children below 18 years of age have tested positive for Covid-19 till September 10, putting the number of positive cases to around 18.6 percent.

As the Covid positivity and death rate have just come down to below 10 percent, there is no possibility of reopening schools in the near future, Health director Dr K Rajo has stated.

Speaking to newspersons during the weekly Covid press briefing held at State Ophthalmic Cell, Lamphelpat on Thursday, Dr K Rajo informed that a meeting was held with the additional director of health on Thursday to discuss issue regarding reopening of schools.

Presently, the Covid positivity and death rate is below 10 percent.

Once it falls below 5 per cent, the proposal of reopening of schools could be discussed with the authorities concerned, he said, while adding that the health department will also offer its opinion.

The director further said if the Covid 19 situation improves da-by-day, schools would also gradually reopened.

At the time, students could attend classes in batches, while maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, hygiene and sanitation, proper ventilation of classrooms, installation of additional exhaust fans, increasing number of soaps, adequate supply of water, preventing students from gathering and encouraging private transportation to schools, which may be difficult.

However, schools vans could transport the students in minimum numbers.

"Schools cannot be opened recklessly.

Once the positive and death rate comes down, the health minister and officials concerned will take up necessary steps.

However, there is no possibility of reopening schools at the moment and the government has not sought the opinion of the Health Department on the matter as well," he added.

The director continued: "As there is concern of the third wave hitting the state, necessary steps have been taken up to protect the children.

Oxygen masks for children have arrived in the state, while facial masks are on the way.

An NGO by the name of e-Governance Foundation has signed an MoU with the state government to set up 10 ICU beds in each of the old districts and 3-5 ICU beds in the new districts.

A firm has installed solar systems in 11 peripheral health facilities to provide electricity to speed up the vaccination process.

The same will be carried out in 60 other H&WCs.

"Meanwhile, of the 2054 samples sent for genome sequencing, the results of 1002 samples have been received.

Several different variants have been detected including 771 Delta Variant (B.1.617.2); 121 AY.12; 62 AY.4; 1 AY.5; 3 AY.6; 4 Alpha (B.1.1.7); 1 Beta (B.1.351); 5 Kappa variant (B.1.617.10); 6 B.l.early variants and 3 variant of not-of-concern.

As many different variants have been detected in the state, necessary steps have been taken up," he informed and urged the people to get vaccinated to stay protected.

Dr Rajo then said that Covid positive patients also face many complications post-Covid as the lungs, which have been severely affected by the virus, take a long time to heal.

As such, Post Covid clinic and separate OPDs have been opened at RIMS and JNIMS for such cases, adding that efforts are on to open the same in the districts.

Stressing the need for detailed monitoring of post-Covid cases, the director said that there is a risk of serious health concerns if the recovery is not monitored carefully.

Post-Covid patient must routinely check their oxygen levels with pulse oximeters and also undergo regular health check-ups at Covid clinic.

If there is any suspicion, they must consult the doctors through e-Sanjeevini.

"Presently, there are 2621 active cases in the state, with 507 patients in home isolation.

Of the 1,17,697 positive cases detected in the state till date, 1,13,259 have recovered putting the recovery rate at 96.23 per cent.

In September, the positive rate stood below 10 percent.

Taking the whole thing into consideration, the Covid situation in the state has improved significantly.

However, Mizoram has been reporting a spike in positive cases, which may posed a threat to Manipur.

Thus, instructions have been issued to screen all new entrants to the border districts of the state, namely Churachandpur and Pherzawl.

The health department has also beefed up the screening process at the ILP counter of Inter Trans Border.

"The co-morbidity death rate at the state is around 64.02 per cent, while the non co-morbidity death rate is at 35.98 per cent.

July recorded the highest number of death with 406 fatalities.

While tracing 847 Covid-related deaths, majority of the victims were found to be unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, around 185 people had already received the first dose prior to their death, while 8 had received the second dosage," he conveyed.

The press briefing was also attended by health officials.

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