Need to reconsider decision to resume regular classes: Khattar

Surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Haryana has left the schoolchildren and their parents worried as the government has already granted permission to resume regular classes.

Since more than 150 students have tested positive in the state within two weeks, parents are reluctant to send their wards to the schools.

When asked about students contracting the infection, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar during his visit to Karnal on Thursday said, “Schools were reopened after seven months as several people were in favour of this decision. But, it is worrisome that some students got infected. Now, we think that there is a need to reconsider the decision.”

Haryana education department also held a videoconference with ground-level officers and school principals to assess the situation before issuing further guidelines.

Parvesh Rani, a resident of Karnal and mother of a Class 10 student, has asked the government to let the kids continue with the online classes. “Since students are catching the infection, it is risky to send them to school. The government should keep the schools closed for next one or two more months,” she added.

Another parent, Shailesh Kumar of Kurukshetra, said, “This is not the right time to reopen schools. We have to wait more as the number of cases is on the rise again. It is also difficult for the teachers to convince students to follow the guidelines.”

Karnal deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav said schools have been directed to strictly follow the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the government. “It is not mandatory for all students to go to schools as they have been given the choice to attend the classes with the written consent of their parents.”

Khattar lays foundation stone of BJP office in Karnal

On Thursday, Khattar, who was accompanied by Karnal MP Sanjay Bhatia, also laid the foundation stone of BJP’s office in Karnal. He said the party office will help in improving the working of local workers.

He said that district-level party offices will be opened in all 22 districts of the state, seven of which have already been opened, while the construction of nine offices is going on.

Earlier, in an interaction with mediapersons, the CM said that the state government was committed to increasing the strength of MBBS doctors in the state, which has around 14,000 doctors (including private) against the requirement of 27,000.

To a question about the MBBS fee hike, he replied that the government wanted to ensure that doctors, after completing the MBBS, could work in the state and cooperate with the government to improve health services.

Nod to proposal to extend special parole

Meanwhile, Khattar has approved a proposal to extend the duration of special parole or interim bail granted to 4,585 prisoners till December 31 in view of the prevalent Covid-19 situation. These include 1,459 undertrials and 3,126 convicts.

An official spokesperson said that the CM acted on the recommendation of the high-powered committee headed by Justice Daya Chaudhary of Punjab and Haryana high court. Justice Chaudhary, who is the executive chairperson of Haryana State Legal Services Authority, in a November 12 meeting had approved a proposal in this regard.

However, authorities will be free to cancel the special parole or interim bail as the case may be, in case any complaint regarding misuse of special parole or interim bail is received against any convict or undertrial.

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