Odisha: Special Cell To Monitor Covid In Schools

As schools gradually reopen for physical classes, concerns loom regarding the spread of Covid infections among children. Keeping this in mind, the Odisha government has constituted a special cell to monitor Covid cases in schools. The Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) has also issued an order related to this.

The Covid monitoring cell has been formed through the office of the State Project Director (SPD), with the OSEPA as the command control centre. The officials who are engaged in this will collect the daily attendance of Classes IX, X, XI, and XII and monitor Covid related incidents.

The State also asked all the District Education Officers (DEOs) to form a Covid monitoring cell at the district level, appointing a senior officer as the Covid compliance officer. It will be the responsibility of Covid compliance officers to ensure the implementation of protocols. They will also need to collect daily attendance report and submit it to the OSEPA.

“If any Covid related incident occurs in the district, it will be reported on that very day to the undersigned without delay”, mentioned the order.

Satyabrata Sahu, Principal Secretary School and Mass Education issued a fresh SOP for the functioning of schools. In a letter to all the DEOs, he mentioned the compulsory use of face masks, without which entry into the school premises should not be permitted. Apart from masks, there should be thermal screening and hand sanitisation of all students at the entry. Social distancing must be ensured inside the classrooms and any student, teacher, non-teaching staff having mild symptoms like cold, sneezing, and fever should not be permitted to enter.

Meanwhile, in a review meeting, the Chief Minister strictly said that the educational institutions would be held responsible if reports of negligence came forward.

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