The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Wednesday issued an advisory to all the Chief Secretaries and administrators of all states and union territories regarding precautions to be taken against the novel coronavirus to prevent the spread of infection among schoolchildren.
The NCPCR in its advisory stated that the world is fighting against the rapid spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). In India, too, the number of cases identified has increased in the last few days.
As school-going children are also susceptible to infection and this is a crucial time for children given the end of the academic year and examination, it calls for immediate measures minimising the effects of the outbreak.
"The National Commission, as per its functions under section 13 (d) of CRPC Act, 2005, requests and recommends that the State Education Department in consultation with the State Health Department to take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection among school children," the NCPCR wrote in the advisory.
"The State Education Department, through the District Education Officer shall also ensure that the advisories or guidelines regarding the safety and prevention from coronavirus issued by the Ministry or Department of Health be immediately circulated among all the schools. Prompt action is requested to curtail the effect on children and save them from any undue stress in this crucial time," the Commission added.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry Ministry has issued an advisory for schools over coronavirus.
In the advisory, the ministry has advised the schools to avoid any large gatherings of students during the course of the day in school. Any student or staff with travel history to any COVID-19 affected country or in contact with such persons in the last 28 days, should be monitored and home quarantined for 14 days.
It further says, teachers, school staff and students should also be advised about simple public health measures of hand and respiratory hygiene.
The ministry has also advised that frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, switches, desktops, hand railings etc should be disinfected and alcohol-based hand cleansers or sanitizers should be provided in frequent spots of the school.