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New COVID strains: ‘Schools to be shut in Odisha if emergency arises’

Bhubaneswar: As the new strains of COVID found in India are said to be more infectious, the schools are likely to be shut again with possible resurgence of Coronavirus in the State.

Speaking to media, the State School & Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash hinted it on Sunday.

He said that the State has achieved success in battle against COVID-19. Though, there is no such threat in Odisha, the possible resurgence of COVID could not be taken casually.

“As the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed to the State people yesterday to strictly follow COVID guidelines, we need to be extra careful. Currently, the schools are operating as per the SOP. The department is reviewing the situation. We will think about closing the schools again if lockdown situation arises in near future,” Dash told media.

Yesterday, Ganjam district administration had issued fresh guidelines in the wake of sudden spike in COVID cases in Maharashtra and some other States in recent past.

Amid massive COVID vaccination drive in the country, new strains of Coronavirus emerged posing another challenge to health authorities to deal with the pandemic.

Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi, on Saturday had said that the new strain of Coronavirus in Maharashtra is highly transmissible and dangerous.

“The new variant can even cause re-infections in people who have developed antibodies to the virus,” he said.

He said that herd immunity for Coronavirus is a “myth” in India because at least 80 per cent people need to have antibodies for the whole of the population to be protected.

It is pertinent to mention here that 240 new strains of Coronavirus have surfaced across India. Besides Maharashtra, the spike in numbers is found in four more states — Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab.

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