Thiruvananthapuram: With the state government determined to reopen schools from November 1, the health experts committee has called for ensuring that students' family members above 18 are vaccinated.
The committee has recommended a school-based campaign to study the matter. Schools have been entrusted to seek the relevant information from the students and pass it to the health department.
The details of senior citizens and people with health issues at the homes of the students must be collected and monitored, the committee has recommended.
Symptomatic family members should be urged to maintain quarantine at homes or move to government-supported quarantine facilities. The committee has suggested that students must be made aware of this and through them, the awareness can be made at their homes.
Children won't be affected much
The health experts committee is of the opinion that the COVID-19 infection will not affect children much. The committee has said that there is no need to panic should some children get infected once the offline classes begin.
The committee added that fewer children were infected during the first wave of the pandemic. Besides, the health machinery is better equipped now and the priority is to ensure that infections in children don't become serious, the committee noted.
There are suggestions to take special care of children with health issues. As the number of children with health problems is fewer, the committee believes that there is no cause for concern.
The government believes the pandemic will be under control in the state in two months if no other variants of the coronavirus emerge.
As over 90% of eligible citizens have received at least the first dose and 38% the second of anti-COVID-19 vaccination, the state government believes the situation is favourable. The health department expects to hit 70% second-dose vaccination by the time the schools are reopened in the state.