College campuses to open after jabs for teachers, students, says Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Karnataka has no immediate plans to reopen schools, but it is looking at reopening higher educational institutions for campus learning in a phased manner.
After a meeting with members of an expert panel headed by eminent cardiologist Dr Devi Shetty, chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday said they are planning to reopen professional and degree colleges in a phased manner only after vaccinating students and teachers.
He said the committee has suggested that students above 18 years and teachers should be given priority during the vaccination drive so that classes could be started early. “However, no decision has been taken about opening of schools since those below 18 years of age are not eligible for vaccination yet,” said the chief minister.
The statement comes in the wake of the committee asking the government to reopen schools and colleges in a staggered manner.
The government recently constituted a 13-member expert committee, headed by Devi Shetty, to analyse and advise the government on the steps needed to be taken to control a possible third Covid wave in Karnataka.
The committee met the chief minister and submitted its interim report on Tuesday.
Yediyurappa said the panel has given valuable suggestions to the government based on the assessment that the third wave of Covid-19 is likely to hurt children the most. “The committee has urged us to consider ramping up the existing medical infrastructure, including setting up high-dependency units (HDU) and intensive care units (ICU) for children across the state…,” he said.
The committee has recommended that all district and taluk hospitals and medical colleges must have HDU and ICU wings, apart from setting up a dedicated hospital for children. The government has, in principle, agreed upon approaching private companies for corporate social responsibility contributions and considering tie-ups with private hospitals and NGOs to expedite testing and vaccinating people. Noting that the committee has suggested giving priority for addressing malnutrition concerns, the CM said it has suggested providing at all hospitals aimed at increasing the morale of children infected by Covid. It has made certain recommendations to address oxygen shortage.
Dr Shetty said, “This report is interim, not final. We’ve addressed everything about Covid-19. Reopening of schools is a complex decision. The government will have to consult multiple bodies and experts before taking a call.”

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Sagar Biswas

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