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'Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff Can Be Included in the Category of Frontline Workers for Vaccination': Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
2 Aug 2021 4:09 PM GMT
Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff Can Be Included in the Category of Frontline Workers for Vaccination: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has directed the state government to place on record the district wise break up of vaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff in schools.

The Karnataka High Court on Monday suggested the State Government to include teaching and non teaching staff of schools in the category of frontline workers for being provided with Covid-19 vaccine. A Division Bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice P Krishna Bhat directed the state government to place on record by next date of hearing, district wise break up of teaching...

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The Karnataka High Court on Monday suggested the State Government to include teaching and non teaching staff of schools in the category of frontline workers for being provided with Covid-19 vaccine.

A Division Bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice P Krishna Bhat directed the state government to place on record by next date of hearing, district wise break up of teaching and non-teaching staff of government and aided schools who have been vaccinated. The bench orally said vaccination would be the first step before deciding upon the reopening of schools. However, it clarified that it cannot direct the state government to open schools on a certain date. It would have to be a decision taken by the state government after taking into account experts' opinion and the present situation of Covid-19 cases in the state.

The Bench while hearing the petition filed by Radha M said that,

"When the cases were ebbying, they (state) conducted the SSLC, but now in some districts of the state the curve is seen to be again rising and thus a decision will have to be accordingly taken by the state government. It should not happen that schools reopen and infection spreads among children."

Earlier, the government had informed the court that a special committee was constituted for considering reopening of the schools. The recommendations made by that committee have been placed on 15/07/2021 before the State Government and a decision would be taken with regard to the reopening of the schools accordingly.

Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari appearing for the petitioner submitted that in addition to teaching staff, non-teaching staff should also be vaccinated. Even before the physical attendance of children happens, schools must be well-prepared through as much sanitization and cleaning of the school premises, orientation for teachers and staff vis-à-vis new standard operating protocols, and all safeguards necessary for when the children attend the schools physically.Therefore, it was requested that the State may be directed to take steps, at least with respect to the preparations prior to the stage of children attending the schools physically.

The matter will be next heard on August 12.

Case Title: Radha M v. State of Karnataka

Case no: WP 2366/2021

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