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Top scientist feels closure of schools not imperative as Omicron is mild than other COVID-19 variants

By Shalini Bhardwaj | Updated: Apr 20, 2022 17:50 IST


New Delhi [India], April 20 (ANI): With the rising concerns around the safety of students amid the fear of possible another fourth wave due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the top scientist clarified that the Omicron is mild than other variants and it will be unjustified to shut down schools.
"The nation depends on the education we provide to children. It would be unjustified to shut down schools because Omicron is milder than the rest of the COVID-19 variants," former Chief Scientist of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr R Gangakhedkar told ANI.
"I don't think we should now shut down the schools. We must remember Omicron variant is comparatively mild as compared to the rest of the variants. So essentially closure of schools is not right. When there is very little risk of hospitalisation or emergence of similar COVID surge but perhaps closure of schools would be unjustified because their future depends on education, the nation depends on the education that we provide to children. I don't find any reason why we should close schools now," the former head scientist of epidemiology and communicable disease at ICMR added.
Speaking on the World Health Organization's (WHO) methodology of claiming 4 million COVID deaths in India, Dr Gangakhedkar said, " They (Ministry) are right. Actually, I do not know what methodology they have adopted. I have not gone through that. If the Ministry has said that the methodologies likely are different, I would always think that they are right because there is no reason why we should have a different methodology than the rest of the world we couldn't apply, perhaps is questionable."
Since the beginning of April, India has been continuously registering a rise in COVID cases daily. However, on Monday, the country recorded about a 90 per cent jump with 2,183 cases. (ANI)

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