With more than 67,000 people aged under 20 infected with coronavirus and a high number of COVID-19 cases being reported across the State each day, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah has suggested to the government not to reopen schools till the situation is brought under control.

He has suggested to the government to make arrangements to continue online classes and promote students to higher classes this academic year.

Responding to a letter from Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar, the former Chief Minister quoted government data and said 20,256 children aged below 10 and 47,061 students aged between 11 and 20 had been infected. Sixty-one children had succumbed to COVID-19, he said. The number of cases were increasing with increased number of tests and this had created a panic situation, he said.

On the Minister’s concerns on increasing child marriages and child labour on account of closure of schools, the Congress leader said the district administration must provide work and financial support for weaker sections of society. Reopening of schools was no solution to address the problems of child labour and child marriages, he added. COVID-19 situation had aggravated after reopening of schools in Europe and the U.S., he said.

A total of 24,527 deaths were reported in the State during July–September 2020 as against 16,670 deaths during the same period in 2019. About 7,857 more deaths were reported this year in the three months, he said, and alleged that the government had been covering up mortalities related to COVID-19.

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