With TPR now at 1.9%, 78% parents in Uttar Pradesh likely to send their children to school as they reopen for all classes in the coming days
- ● 22% of parents will only send their children for in-person school in next session when schools reopen
February 8, 2022, New Delhi: In light of the new COVID variant Omicron leading a surge in daily cases, the Government of Uttar Pradesh in late December imposed a series of restrictions, including the shutdown of in-person schools, to curb the spread within the state. The test positivity rate (TPR) in the state has shown a gradual decline at 1.9% now, which was at 7.78% on Jan 19th. Though testing has declined considerably, the feedback from citizens on LocalCircles also indicates that there is a decline in cases.
India continues to record a decline in the daily COVID cases, coupled with a decline in TPR weeks after a surge that recorded nearly 350,000 daily cases. Medical experts are now stating that most major cities have already witnessed the peak of the 3rd wave, and the numbers are declining. Further, the latest genome sequencing data shows that BA.2, the new sub-variant which is causing an extended Omicron surge in some other countries, is already prevalent in India reducing the likelihood of the 3rd wave getting prolonged. However, the risk of reinfection remains and it is critical for people to follow the COVID protocols.
Schools in Uttar Pradesh announced reopening on Feb 7th for classes 9 to 12 to bridge the learning gap of students and to ensure their social, emotional and mental well-being. As parents have been expressing their opinions on LocalCircles about reopening of in-person schools, it conducted a survey on understanding where they stand on sending their children to schools. The survey received 3,286 responses from residents across all districts of Uttar Pradesh. 63% of the respondents were men while 37% were women.
78% parents in Uttar Pradesh likely to send their children to school as they reopen for all classes in the coming days
The survey asked residents of Uttar Pradesh, “What is your plan on sending your children/grandchildren for in-person schools in Uttar Pradesh?” In response, 33% said “Sending them for in-person school already or will send as soon as school opens.” 45% said “will be sending them for in-person school when test positivity rate drops to 2% or lower in my district”. Only 22% said they will only send them for in-person school in next session when schools reopen.” On an aggregate basis, as the situation in Uttar Pradesh stands right now with TPR less than 2%, 78% parents are likely to send their children to school as they reopen for all classes in the coming days. This question in the survey received 3,286 responses.
While a TPR of 2% indicates low risk of infection, it must be noted that the Omicron variant can spread between two children within 2 minutes if they are not masked and less than 6 feet apart in an indoor setting.
Time required to reach infectious dose inhaled by the vulnerable person
Therefore, it is recommended that while schools must resume in-person classes, the key is to minimise indoor team without masks by either having shorter duration school sessions or by having children have their snack/meals i.e. non-masked activities outdoors.
3,286 responses were received from residents across 51 districts of Uttar Pradesh. 63% of the respondents were men while 37% were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.