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COVID-19: Schools To Reopen From September 21 For Classes 9 To 12; Read SOPs

The govt said that students of these classes can come to school on a “voluntary basis”.

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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has allowed schools to reopen for resuming the face-to-face method of learning from September 21. The ministry has issued a set of guidelines for holding these classes. It is meant to serve as a guide to schools on the safety measures they need to take during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

These Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) follow the centre’s Unlock-4 guidelines to allow schools to reopen in areas outside containment zones.

Disallowing of sharing of notebooks, pens or pencils, water bottles among students, a prohibition of assemblies and sports, encouraging online learning, entry of asymptomatic persons are some of the important points of the guidelines.


It said, however, written consent of the student’s parents or guardians will be required and such visits for teacher-student interactions must be organized in a staggered manner.

The seating arrangement has to be made to ensure a distance of 6 feet between chairs, desks etc and the teaching faculty will ensure that they themselves and students wear masks throughout the conduct of the teaching or guidance activities.

If there is cafeteria or mess facility within the premises, it shall remain closed.

For ensuring queue management inside and outside the premises, specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet may be made.


Similarly, physical distancing shall also be maintained in staff rooms, office areas including the reception area, and other places.

Weather permitting, outdoor spaces may be utilized for conducting teacher-student interactions, keeping in view the safety and security of students and physical distancing protocols.

The concerned teaching and non-teaching employees up to 50 per cent of the strength may be called to schools for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.

The installation and use of the Aarogya Setu App may be advised wherever feasible.

The appropriate back-up stock of personal protection items like face covers or masks, hand sanitizers etc shall be made available by management to the teachers and employees.


An adequate supply of thermal guns, alcohol wipes or 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solutions and disposable paper towels, soap, IEC materials on COVID-19 should be provided.

A pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation levels of any symptomatic person must be arranged.

The guidelines also call for ensuring regular counselling for students and teachers reporting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

The SOPs said that it is advisable that teachers, school counsellors and school health workers should work in unison to ensure the emotional safety of the student.

The entrance should have mandatory hand hygiene sanitizer dispenser and thermal screening provisions.

For the conduct of skill-based training in workshops and laboratories, a floor area of 4 square metres per person should be made available for working on equipment or work stations.

Cleaning and regular disinfection using 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite of frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, will be made mandatory in all classrooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas, before the beginning of classes and at the end of the day.

All employees who are at higher risk like older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the students.

If the transportation facility is being managed by the school, proper physical distancing, sanitization of buses or other transport vehicles with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite shall be ensured.

Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching or demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces.


Schools that were used as quarantine centres should be properly sanitized and deep cleaned before partial functioning is resumed.

In case a student or teacher or employee develops symptoms, the ill person should be in a room or area where they are isolated from others and the nearest medical facility should be informed.

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Legendary Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam Passes Away

His son SP Charan confirmed his demise to the reporters this afternoon.

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CHENNAI (Tamil Nadu): Legendary playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away this afternoon in Chennai. He was 74. His son SP Charan confirmed his demise to the reporters this afternoon.

The renowned artist SP Balasubrahmanyam was admitted into a corporate hospital in the city on the 5th of this month for Covid-19. The viral load dissipated, only after leaving his vital organs severely affected. It led him to be put on a ventilator and ECMO support. He breathed his last at 1.04 pm.

His condition in the last 24 hours had deteriorated further warranting maximal life support. A team of experts was closely monitoring his health.


On September 7, his son Charan had announced that SPB had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The veteran singer got himself admitted to hospital on August 5 after he developed symptoms of Covid-19.

Having rendered over 40,000 songs across 16 languages, SPB, as he was fondly called, touched many lives with his iconic voice. His humility and kindness were an inspiration to us all.


Balasubrahmanyam made his singing debut in 1966 with Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. He has sung over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.

Balasubrahmanyam was also a voice-over artist. He was the voice-over artist for actor Kamal Hassan, whenever the latter’s Tamil movies were dubbed in Telugu. Balasubrahmanyam also acted in a few movies.

He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter — both are playback singers.

Balasubrahmanyam sang thousands of songs in South Indian languages and in Hindi for five decades for generations of actors — from MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan, down to the stars of the present — and is the winner of six national awards. He also had won the hearts of several fans across the world for whom his songs have marked milestones.

Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the passing away of legendary musician and playback singer S  P Balasubrahmanyam. HM Shah said that he will forever remain in memory through his melodious voice and unparalleled music compositions.


Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed grief at the demise of noted singer Padmabhushan S P Balasubrahmanyam. He said that the country today lost a melodious vocalist. Praying for peace to the departed soul, Javadekar expressed condolences to the family, friends and crores of people who loved the singer.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has expressed shock and grief over the demise of eminent singer and film actor, S P Balasubrahmanyam. In a statement, the Chief Minister said that the demise of SPB is an irreparable loss for the film fraternity. He felt it was unfortunate that the best of the best efforts by doctors could not save him.

Andhra Pradesh Governor Sri Biswabhusan Harichandan also expressed profound grief and sadness at the demise of S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.

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COVID-19: Lucknow Lab Records Shortest Average Time To Process Samples

The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours.

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LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): As the COVID 19 patient numbers are recorded, a testing hub in Lucknow for the disease has recorded the shortest average time to process samples among institutions in the country.

With 1000 to 1200 samples being tested per day, the story of the rise of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, to the top institution not only in the state but throughout the country in terms of average processing time of samples is one of sheer grit and dedication.

With a small team of 8 members, the lab is running 24×7 to test samples from various districts of Uttar Pradesh. The number of samples tested by BSIP has crossed 50,000, of which approximately 1600 samples were reported positive for SARS-CoV-2 with zero pendency. Keeping in light the present scenario and to aid the authorities to contain this pandemic, BSIP has provided testing reports (on daily basis) to the concerned districts in a record time of 24 hours.


BSIP joined hands with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to combat COVID-19 in the state, becoming one of the five Central Government research institutes in Lucknow, which took initial steps to start laboratory testing of COVID-19. Availability of a BSL-2A laboratory, primarily for ancient DNA work in the Institute, became the advantage needed to immediately prepare for testing.

The BSIP approached the GOI and the UP Government in early April for the necessary approvals for COVID-19 testing. Subsequent to inspection and approval of the laboratory by the ICMR and the UP Government, BSIP became the first of the five Central Govt. Institute in Lucknow to start with RT-PCR based testing, from 2nd May 2020.

The institution started with testing 100-150 samples per day that have now scaled up to 1000-1200 samples per day from the month of July 2020. With proper lab management and dedication of the lab staff, BSIP decreased its average time to process the samples.


The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours. Furthermore, the pendency of the samples is almost zero within 18 hours after receiving the samples.

Apart from diagnostic service, the BSIP is also actively involved in research activities related to COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, real-time tracking of COVID-19 spread in India, using SARS-CoV-2 genotype-based analysis, is being developed.

“RT-PCR is a perfect example of repurposing the existing human resources and infrastructure built for research to effectively address the needs in the time of crisis with speed, scale and resolve,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

The 8 members of the teamwork with determination and commitment under the supervision of Dr Vandana Prasad, Director, BSIP, and Dr Anupam Sharma, Nodal-in-charge of the COVID-19 lab. Dr Niraj Rai, in-charge of the ancient DNA laboratory, is also in-charge of COVID-19 facility. Nagarjuna P., as the COVID-19 lab manager, takes care of all the requirements for continuous testing in the laboratory. Dr Indu Sharma, Dr Varun Sharma, with Nagarjuna P. work in the BSIP BSL-2A laboratory.

Mr Satya Prakash, who is a science teacher, working voluntarily, takes care of the timely reporting of the results to the respective authorized portals.


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COVID-19: 10 States Account For 75% Cases In India

Maharashtra continues to top this list. It alone contributed more than 21,000 cases yesterday.

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Graphic: PIB, GoI

NEW DELHI: A total of 86,508 new cases of COVID-19 infections have been reported in the last 24 hours in India. Of these at least 75% confirmed cases are found to be concentrated from 10 States/UTs.

For the sixth consecutive day, the number of new confirmed cases has been lower than the new recoveries. India posted 81.55 per cent of recoveries while the fatality rate stood at 1.59 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to top this list. It has alone contributed more than 21,000 cases.

Graphic: PIB, GoI

It is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with more than 7,000 and 6,000 cases respectively.


1,129 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours.

10 States/UTs account for 83% of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to COVID.

Maharashtra reported 479 deaths followed by Uttar Pradesh and Punjab with 87 and 64 deaths, respectively.


India has substantially ramped up its testing infrastructure across the country. As on date, there are 1810 labs including 1082 government and 728 private labs.

11,56,569 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. The total number of tests has crossed 6.74 cr today.

Recovery rate continues to rise, crosses 81%

With its focussed strategies and effective, coordinated and proactive measures, India is reporting a steep increase in recoveries.

New recoveries in India have exceeded the new cases for the fifth consecutive day. 89,746 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country, whereas the number of new confirmed cases stands at 83,347. With this, the total number of recoveries are 45,87,613. The Recovery Rate is 81.25% today.


India has the highest recovered cases in the world. It contributes 19.5% to the global recoveries. As India records more recoveries than the new cases, many States/UTs follow the suit. 17 States/UTs have more new recoveries than new cases.

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