Srinagar: With schools in Kashmir reporting positive cases of Covid-19 infection among staffers, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday has urged authorities to prioritize Covid-19 vaccination for teachers and school staff in the valley.
“That would provide a safe environment for students in the schools,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“Teacher vaccination would ensure the health and safety of both teachers and students,” he said.
“It would keep schools open and prevent disruption in learning.”
“Vaccination would make educators feel safe heading back to schools and parents would also be confident in sending their children to schools,” DAK President said.
“Not only will vaccines protect teachers and students, but it will protect their families as well.”
“Unvaccinated teachers are at increased risk of getting the virus,” he said.
“They would give it to other staff members and students with whom they are in contact most of the day.”
“That means unimmunized teachers would play an important role in the spread of Covid-19 infection within the schools,” Dr Nisar said. “And schools could become breeding grounds for virus transmission and we could end up in another deadly wave of Covid-19 infection.”
“While most children who get Covid-19 develop mild illness, several hundreds have died of respiratory failure or an inflammatory syndrome,” he said.
“A recent German study suggested that children may be as infectious as adults and can spread the virus as easily as adults.”
“Children can get infected at school and spread the virus to parents and grandparents at home who are more likely to develop severe disease,” said Dr Nisar.
“Schools are very dynamic places. This is not just about students coming and going, it is about students interacting with bus drivers, with other parents that come into school buildings to drop kids off. There is a lot of activity.”
“Children tend not to follow social distancing and are not particular about personal hygiene,” he said.
“Many schools in the valley lack infrastructure to maintain physical distancing and they do not follow rigorous cleaning protocols that could help prevent and control the spread of the virus.”