New Delhi: Schools in India are likely to see a 14 per cent drop in students attending in-person classes due to concerns sparked by ‘Omicron’, the new variant of coronavirus, according to a nationwide survey.
The findings of a nationwide survey conducted by the online platform LocalCircles indicate the number of parents not sending their ward to school for in-person classes is likely to rise. “In a week, over 25 countries have reported the presence of Omicron with scientists confirming that it is more transmissible than the Delta variant and could evade vaccines up to some extent.
“The survey, which received 15,875 responses from parents residing in 308 districts of India, finds that schools in the country are likely to see a 14 per cent drop in students attending in-person classes,” it stated.
The survey mentioned that doctors in South Africa, where the ‘Omiron’ variant was first reported, have found a higher number of Covid cases of the new variant in the population aged under 25 years.
The World Health Organisation has designated the new SARS-Cov-2 variant as a ‘variant of concern’. According to the survey findings, 58 pc of parents will be sending their children for in-person classes till this week.
The remaining 32 per cent are parents mostly with younger children and for about 10 per cent of parents, schools that their children go to have not resumed in-person classes yet, it said. Furthermore, of the 58 per cent of parents sending children to school, 14 per cent will stop doing so because of the Omicron threat.
“While no case of Omicron has been traced in India yet, once the first case is reported in India, another five per cent of parents are likely to stop sending children to school. Once multiple cases are reported another five per cent are likely to do so leaving only 34 per cent of parents still sending children to school.
“Another 10 pc of parents will take the call of stopping in-person school for their children only when Omicron case is detected in their district and once several cases are detected in their district, almost all parents are likely to stop sending children,’ it said.
Before that happens, chances are schools would be closed by the state governments, the survey report stated. Mumbai and Pune have postponed the resumption of in-person classes for children till class seven by two weeks from December 1 to 15 because of the threat of the potentially more contagious variant ‘Omicron’.