As many as 20 students of two schools in Ludhiana have tested COVID-19 positive, a police official said on Tuesday. "20 children in 2 schools found to positive for COVID-19," news agency ANI quoted Deputy Commissioner VK Sharma, as saying.
The Punjab government has allowed schools to reopen from August 2 as it further relaxed Covid restrictions in the wake of declining number of cases. The schools were directed to adhere to all Covid safety protocols while restarting classes for students.
Before deciding to reopen schools for all classes from August 2, the government had already allowed reopening of schools for classes 10 to 12 from July 26.
Earlier, schools for pre-primary and classes 1 and 2 in Punjab had reopened in February this year after a gap of nearly 10 months after these were suspended in March 2020 following outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The issue of reopening of schools in the state took a political turn earlier when Punjab's main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) appealed to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to clarify the situation over the concerns raised on the decision to reopen all government and private schools in the state.
Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, asked the state government "on the basis of which report of doctors and education experts was such a big decision taken".
Cheema said this was a decision related to the lives of 60.5 lakh children, who constitute 20 per cent of the total population of the state and also the future of Punjab.
Punjab School Education minister Vijay Inder Singla had said he has directed the department officials and school managements to ensure proper cleaning of premises and classrooms and follow the COVID-19 norms in accordance with the guidelines of the Government of India and the state government from time to time.
(With inputs from agencies)