Reopening of schools can prove disastrous; Medical Experts

Srinagar, Sep 19 (KNO): The medical experts Saturday warned against the reopening of schools in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir stating that it can have disastrous impact amid the spike in the COVID-19 cases. 

Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), influenza expert Dr. Nisar Ul Hassan said that the conditions do not favor the reopening of schools. "Education can wait but if somebody dies we can't get him back and academic loss can be compensated not life,” he said.

He said that it would be simply disastrous and if the government decides to reopen schools they will end up closing them again and this time for a longer period as the situation might go out of hand.

Dr. Nisar said that the United States has done it recently in the first four weeks nearly 1-lakh children were infected and in Israel there was community spread.

“Parents can’t decide they’re not scientific bodies, science has to prevail rather than the choices of people because it's a matter of life and death. It's the duty of the government to ensure every child stays safe,” he said.

“The important point is that you do not have to see what the union government has done but we have to see what is happening and what the situation in Kashmir is. According to that, only we have to decide about the reopening of the schools is not. It should not be on the basis of what other states in the country are doing,” Dr Nisar said.

He said at this point of time the situation is very bad and the virus is behaving aggressively. “So in such a scenario, I don't think the conditions are favorable for reopening of the schools."

He said that hundreds of children have died because of the life-threatening pneumonia and because of a very particular disorder known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome.

According to a recent German study, he said children have been found to be as infectious as adults are and they can spread the disease to others, which is more worrying.

“Students after returning from schools will transmit it to the parents and grandparents who are the most vulnerable lot and are more likely to get severe disease. The structure of schools in Kashmir is pathetic, classrooms with no ventilation.  We cannot keep away the virus when most of the schools even have basic facilities,” he said.

Dr. Nisar also stated that schools cannot be reopened when the flu season in Kashmir is about to arrive. "In October we get complications from the flu and can lead to poor outcomes even children usually get simultaneous infection if they get the flu. I do not think at this point of time conditions favor reopening the schools in Jammu and Kashmir. It is not a wise decision,” he said—

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