Nara Lokesh urges CM Jagan to close schools amid COVID-19 surge

Amravati: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) National General Secretary Nara Lokesh on Monday urged chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy to declare vacations for schools amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a letter to the chief minister, Lokesh emphasised the need for stringent preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, since most school students were yet to be vaccinated.

Lokesh further stated that all possible steps should be taken to prevent the third wave from reaching Andhra Pradesh. Expressing serious concern, Lokesh said: “I bring to your urgent notice the need to shut down schools in Andhra Pradesh in view of rising Covid-19 cases this past two weeks across India and in the state.

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The TDP national secretary further said, “Our neighbouring states Telangana and Tamil Nadu have already passed orders closing schools and physical classes till the end of January. Kerala has also closed its schools for two weeks starting January 21.”

He also highlighted that a majority of the students were unvaccinated. With regards to the commencement of the vaccination drive for students under 15, Lokesh said it is a recent initiative. He further added, “It is imperative that we do not willingly expose these students to any kind of risk.”

The TDP general Secretary pointed out that even though fatality rates among students were extremely low, it cannot be true with respect to the elders in their family.

“Based on the same I urged your government to cancel board exams last year during the second wave of Covid-19. “We must not allow our own students, most of whom are unvaccinated, to become the victims of a third wave now,” he added

Lokesh told the CM that by now, it must be obvious to the state government that the pandemic has affected most countries through multiple waves. We must have innovated new ways to tackle subsequent waves by now. This would have ensured that the students’ academic progress was not interrupted while also taking care of public health concerns.

He expressed concerns stating the increased number of cases from 500 to 5000 per day. The state’s positivity rate has also gone past 10%.

“It would be callous of the government to resume classes for students now, with no precautions taken or vaccination not done for most of the students.\,” said the letter.

Nara Lokesh further added that the delay in the closure of schools will affect millions of lives. Apart from just those of students, all across the state. “We must not willingly create conditions for a severe third wave to overwhelm our public health facilities.” he futher stated, “If no action is taken in this regard, the Telugu Desam Party will resume a mass movement to ensure the lives of students and people are protected.”

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