The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as Delhi schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges, universities and coaching institutes reopen from September 1. The seating capacity has been capped at a maximum of 50%. As far as social distancing is concerned, every school will have to maintain a gap of at least one hour between the morning and evening shifts.
Children have been asked not to share food, books and other stationery items. Besides alternate seating arrangements, lunch break has been advised in the open at different times. Children will require the approval of parents to attend school.
Staff members or students from COVID-19 containment zones will not be allowed to come to school, while schools are also required to create a quarantine room on premises and ensure availability of thermal scanners, sanitisers and masks, etc.
Schools also need to ensure regular cleaning of common area and keep soap and water available in the toilets.
Temperature check via thermal scanners at the entry gate of the school is also mandatory and children as well as staff members must wear masks at all times and sanitize their hands before entering schools.
School heads will have to make sure that COVID-19 protocol plan is followed and that all teachers and staff members are vaccinated.
Separate entry-exit points will be be set up and civil defence staff deployed to ensure the academic activity is kept separate at schools where vaccination and ration distribution is being carried out.
A report submitted by the National Institute of Disaster Management to the Prime Minister's Office recently said that while there was no evidence to suggest that the probable third wave of COVID-19 will affect children more than adults, adequate steps needed to be taken as children in India remain unvaccinated and existing pediatric healthcare facilities were "not robust enough to treat on a large scale."