A crucial meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday is likely to discuss mandatory use of face masks and hybrid mode of offline and online teaching for school children, in view of rising number of infections in past many days, official sources said.
The meeting of DDMA chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, will review the COVID situation in the national capital, as per notice of the meeting.
The use of masks by people in Delhi has “considerably” gone down after fine of Rs 500 was withdrawn by the DDMA earlier this month. This is not an ideal situation in view of rising number of infections, said a senior government officer.
“In view of the UP government today making it compulsory for residents of six National Capital Region cities of the state, the mandatory mask use in Delhi is most likely to be discussed with reimposing fines for its strict implementation during the meeting,” said the officer.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday made it compulsory for people to wear a face mask in public places in capital Lucknow and six NCR districts including Noida and Ghaziabad, amid a rise in Covid cases in some adjoining states, an official said.
The DDMA meeting could also discuss giving option of offline and online mode of teaching at schools, in view of reports of children being affected by the infection, sources said.
Schools across Delhi-NCR have sprung into action following a spike in Covid cases and are taking various measures, including frequent sanitisation, to restrict the spread of the virus to a minimum and thus avoid shutdown of the campus.
The Haryana education department has directed schools in the state not to make it mandatory for students to attend physical classes at a time when scores of students and staff in institutes across NCR cities have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The number of school students testing positive has been on the rise in the city, raising concerns among parents. The Delhi government has told school authorities to close specific wings or classrooms wherever any student or teacher is found infected.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain earlier on the day said though the number of COVID-19 cases is rising in the national capital, it is not an alarming situation as the rate of hospitalisation is low.
He said the government is keeping a watch on the situation. He also underlined that it is necessary to wear face masks, even though the fine for not doing so had been withdrawn.
“The number of positive cases has been rising in Delhi. But we have carried out 100 per cent vaccination and a large number of residents have already been infected with the (corona) virus. Also, there are not a lot of hospitalisations. So, it is not an alarming situation. We are keeping a watch on the situation,” Jain said in a briefing.
When asked about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases among children, the minister said the Delhi government has already issued an advisory asking schools to close specific classes for a few days if any student or teacher tests positive for the coronavirus.
Delhi had on Sunday recorded 517 COVID-19 cases, 56 more than the previous day, with a positivity rate of 4.21 per cent.