Over 30 students tested positive for coronavirus in Punjab as the state ramped up testing in schools just days after offline classes began for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic on August 2.
“Our government has started a new system wherein school students are also being tested. So far, more than 21,200 tests have been done and 33 students have tested positive for Covid,” Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The decision to conduct Covid tests in schools was taken at a Covid review meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan. Directions to conduct at least 10,000 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests daily at Punjab schools were issued after the meet.
Apart from Punjab, schools in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have also reported several positive cases among students in the past week as offline classes resumed.
While Haryana had reopened schools for senior classes – Classes 9 to 12 – from July 16 onward, Punjab allowed all classes – pre-nursery to Class 12 – to reopen from August 2.
Himachal Pradesh, which reopened schools for Classes 9 to 12 – from August 2, has now shut them once again till August 22.