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Reopening primary schools may lead to second, third wave of Covid-19: Sindh health minister

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho on Wednesday opposed the decision to reopen primary schools and said it may lead to a second or third wave of the virus in the country..

In a video message, the provincial health minister said children are vulnerable and are unable to maintain social distance with their peers, adding that this could increase Covid-19 risk in those institutions.

The health minister added private schools are protesting to reopen institutions and reiterated that it may be dangerous for younger students to return to school, adding that children should stay at home and learn via online classes.

“While older students are capable of following standard operating procedures (SOPs) including the use of face masks and maintaing social distance, younger children tend to hug each other, stand close together while talking and holding hands while playing.”

She said teachers will be unable to manage these young children for the entire school day.

“Socialisation is part of human nature. We are social creatures and it is in our nature to be close to each other.”

Earlier, on August 18, Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani said the final decision to reopen educational institutions would be taken at the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting on September 15.

“We want the federal education minister and all the provincial education ministers to meet on September 7 so that we have all preparations [to reopen schools] in place,” he stated, adding, “The decision to close educational institutions was a difficult one, but time has proved that this was the correct decision.”

The minister further said that all resources should be utilised to ensure the complete implementation of SOPs to curb any resurgence of Covid-19 in all educational institutions.

“We have to focus on reopening educational institutions on September 15 and ensure the completion of all precautionary measures, including disinfectant spraying, before that date,” he insisted.



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