The Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that decision regarding the reopening of schools in the state cannot be taken yet as students below 18 years cannot be vaccinated and clinical trials for this age group are still on.
The minister has received a 92-page interim report submitted by the 13-member high-level committee, headed by noted cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty, reports news agency IANS. The committee was set up to provide advice on possible measures to control the third wave of Covid-19. He added that although the committee has recommended the reopening of schools, the state has decided not to.
Yediyurappa said at a press conference, “We are facing some genuine concerns about carrying out the vaccination drive. In the present scenario, clinical trials are still on to validate the vaccine for the below 18 year age group… how can any state government take any decision at this point of time about schools and colleges where those below 18 years are studying."
However, the state government was contemplating reopening higher educational institutions in a phased manner after vaccinating students and teachers, he said. “Even to do this, we are thinking of first intensifying our vaccination drive for the 18 years and above age group besides vaccinating teachers and other staff members of colleges," the minister said.
The expert committee has reported also advised Yediyurappa to accelerate vaccinations as vaccines are the solution for Covid control. “The committee has supported the relaxations in Covid induced curbs announced by the state government, and have suggested opening up educational institutions in the days to come, starting with higher education colleges, after vaccinating," he was quoted as saying by IANS.
After a meeting with the committee, Yediyurappa said the committee has suggested giving prioritising students and teachers when it comes to vaccination and start classes in a phased manner starting with reopening colleges after vaccinating students and teachers.