No schools to reopen without vaccines for below 18: Yediyurappa

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Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa declared on Tuesday that no decision will be taken about reopening of schools as the vaccines for the ones above 18 years are still underway through clinical trials. A 92-page interim report from the 13 member high-level committee led by cardiac surgeon Devi Prasad Shetty was issued to Yediyurappa, which spoke about the suggestions to control a potential third wave. He revealed to the reporters that although the committee has given a green signal for resuming the schools, the state has noy yet taken a decision.

Yediyurappa said, “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.”

Although, he iterated that the state government was considering opening up of higher educational institutes in the first phase of resuming classes of the educational institutions across the state. Yediyurappa added, “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.”

He further mentioned the recommendation to accelerate the vaccination drive in the state given by the Devi Shetty-headed expert committee. The chief minister said, “The committee has supported the relaxations in COVID-19 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.”

Post a meeting with the committee, he said on the opening of schools and colleges, the committee has recommended to prioritize vaccination of students and teachers, and then resume classes in a graded manner by resuming colleges for those above 18 years of age.

Devi Shettly led expert committee suggested to reopen schools both the government and private in the state, adding that any further delay would lead to children facing malnutrition, child labour, child marriage, child trafficking, begging.

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