Srinagar: At least seven staff members of GD Goenka School in Srinagar have tested positive just days before the school is scheduled to re-open on March 8.
Dr Rubeena, Zonal Medial Officer Zadibal, who has monitored the test drive at the school, told Kashmir Reader that seven staff members have tested positive and have been asked to go into home isolation. They were part of the 170 rapid tests done so far. Another round of tests is still on at the school, which will be complete in the coming days.
“The test drive at the school was undertaken after the principal of the school tested positive. There was another teacher who had been in close contact with the principal. We then received a call from a school staff member who asked for the tests. The process is on,” Dr Rubeena said.
The news has worried parents of the around 1200 students of the school. According to them, they are becoming more apprehensive about the state of their children, especially as the school has put responsibility on their shoulders if their ward catches Covid. The school, like others, has asked parents to give in writing that they will be responsible for their wards if they fall sick because of the time they spend in school. The schools have sent an undertaking to be signed by parents in which parents have been asked to assume responsibility if “anything untoward happens” to students or if they contract/develop an infection.
“Who will assure us that our kids are safe?” asked one of the parents. She did not wish to give her name because of fear of the administration. In the past, it has been an unpleasant experience for many parents who chose to speak out.
Staff members with whom Kashmir Reader spoke have also become anxious after the tests carried out in the school. One of them said that the principal had tested positive weeks after the school was thrown open. Between these days, she said, the staff had been sitting together, interacting with the principal and academic coordinators. On many occasions, most of the staff used to be without masks or sanitisers. She also said that the school remained un-sanitised for a week after the tests had been done.
“But it was better today. Many SOPs were followed,” she added.
District Health Officer Dr Anjum said that schools need to adhere to the standard operating procedures to prevent the contracting of the virus. She said people should now learn how to live with Covid.
“We have been on duty for a year now. Staff members should remove the masks and clothes before they enter home. They should also take a bath. Regular use of masks, hand wash, and maintenance of distance will help a long way,” she said.