District collectors are empowered to close schools in rural areas
Jaipur: The Rajasthan government closed schools in urban areas across Rajasthan in recently guidelines issued to contain the spread of Covid-19 among children. As the infection is spread to rural areas, senior government officials said that the district collectors are empowered to close schools in rural areas where Covid-19 cases are reported. It would be at the discretion of the district collectors to take a decision in this regard.
“Currently, the Covid-19 is mainly spreading in municipal corporation areas including Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. The rural areas are still relatively safe, so it was decided not to close the schools. But it doesn’t mean that schools will remain open even if the cases are reported in a particular area. It would be up to district collectors to take a call whether to close the schools depending on the number of cases,” said a senior officer.
He added that the parents can also decide not to send children to school if they are concerned about the health of their children. Online classes will continue in rural areas too.
“Another reason we decided not to close schools in rural areas is the inconsistent internet connectivity. Some rural areas don’t have high-speed internet connections. Besides, many households don’t have internet connection for children to attend online classes,” said the officer.
Health minister Parsadi Lal Meena said that the state government is fully prepared to deal with the third wave of Covid-19.
“We have 28,000 oxygen beds and 6,000 ICU beds. Despite the surge in cases, hospitalization rate is very low, so we are currently not grappling with the lack of resources,” said Meena.
The weekly positivity rate is 5.26% which is lower compared to the nation rate of 7.39%.
There are 529 Omicron cases in Rajasthan. Nearly 92.6% of the population (18+) has received the first dose, while 76% are fully vaccinated.