Children in Sindhupalchok village start going to school twice a weekOfficials say they have adopted safety measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
Students of three community schools in Ghorthali, Ward No. 1 of Tripurasundari Rural Municipality, Sindhupalchok have started going to school since last week as they don’t have access to the internet, tv or radio for distance learning.
Students from grade one to eight have started attending their classes by maintaining social distancing for the first time after the Covid-19 lockdown, said school authorities from the remote village around 70 kilometers from the district headquarters.
Ward Chairman Karna Bahadur Khadka said they have chosen three community schools and deployed nine teachers to teach children for three hours twice a week. “The classes are being conducted by practicing social distancing to avoid Covid-19 infection. Students are told to enter the school only by cleaning their hands with soap or ash,” said Khadka.
“It is mandatory for all students to use sanitisers before coming to class. We are concerned about the possible risk and have adopted preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus,” said Khadka.
Classes have resumed at Setidevi Basic School, Kageshwori Secondary School and Sundaridevi Basic School in Tungathali, Ghorthali. “We are excited to teach students,” said Ishwor Dahal, a local teacher.
Sumina Lama, a student at Setidevi said, “We sit separated from each other by three meters. We don’t touch each other and maintain social distancing.”
“I am glad to return to school.”
Meanwhile, Tripurasundari Rural Municipality has also deployed teachers to visit door-to-door in remote Pisakar, Chokatibhar to help students continue their studies. Shukadev Risal, chairman of Ward No. 3, said 55 teachers will teach 720 students of the rural municipality on a rotation basis. “The ward education committee has started a door-to-door teaching campaign after conducting a meeting with teachers.”
Around 65,000 students from 525 community schools in the district have already received their new textbooks. Helambu and Indrawati Rural Municipalities are going to start a new education campaign soon. Nimagyalgen Sherpa, chairman of Helambu Rural Municipality, said, “It is not possible to resume classes using the internet in all areas. We are discussing the problems with concerned stakeholders now.”
Banshalal Tamang, chairman of Indrawati Rural Municipality and also the secretary of Rural Municipality Association in the district, said, “All of the teachers have not returned to schools yet. We are making an environment to bring them back and keep them in quarantine. We are also discussing plans to resume other classes.”
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of July 13, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. Covid-19 had spread to 213 countries and infected more than 12,718,086 people with 565,138 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 849,522 with 22,673 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 248,872 confirmed cases with 5,197 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 16,945 cases with 38 deaths.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.