The Allahabad High Court has expressed concern over the opening of schools in Uttar Pradesh amid the pandemic, fearing that young children may catch infection owing to their inability to follow precautions.
However, falling short of ordering the closure of schools, a bench of justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar asked the state government to consistently keep an eye over all schools and ensure that all teachers and students follow anti-Covid guidelines.
"It has been informed that schools and colleges in the state of UP have been opened since December 7. It is a matter of concern whether the teachers and students would follow the Covid-19 guidelines. There is always a possibility that young children might violate the guidelines," the bench observed.
The court directed district administration of all districts to regularly inspect all the private and government schools and see that Covid-19 guidelines vis-a-vis sanitization and wearing of masks are followed in schools.
The bench gave the directions on Friday while hearing a public interest lawsuit seeking the court's intervention to check the spread of the infection.
The bench also asked the state government to apprise it of various safeguards, during the upcoming "Magh Mela" next year amid the pandemic and sought details of arrangements at bathing ghats at various riverbanks during the annual fair.
During the hearing, top cops of Lucknow, Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut testified in affidavits to the court that policemen have been deployed at every stretch of 2 kms of roads in their districts to ensure cent per cent compliance on face-masking provisions.
On this, the court directed the top cops to file another affidavit detailing police personnel deployed for this purpose. They were asked to file affidavits the next date of hearing on December 17.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)