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Two Govt Girls teachers tests COVID positive; traveled by air and joined before getting reports

One assistant teacher and a Biology teacher of Government Girls Higher Secondary School have tested positive for COVID19. The teacher came in contact with senior employees and taught around 15 pupils before knowing that they are carrying the infection.

Today, the school management was informed that both teachers have tested positive and that came in as a shock for the authority.

Pinkimoni Pathak and Meenakshi Mech are teachers in Govt. High School and residents of Tezpur and Guwahati. As per principal Soma Shome’s instructions, both of them flew down to Silchar yesterday and joined school today. “We can only deploy 50 per cent teachers in one day and that is why we need all hands on deck. So, I have been asking them to join for some days now and they turned up yesterday,” informs Soma Shome.

However, according to the principal, the teachers told her that they have tested negative. “How could someone hide details of a COVID test, I am simply appalled. After they reached Silchar, I asked the Inspector of Schools madam for instructions and she told us that if they are negative then let them take classes. That is what we did and the next day, we got to know that they are carrying the infection,” asserted Soma Shome.

Now the principal has instructed that all 15 students, teachers who came in contact with the duo to go for five-day home quarantine. “They will be tested and they can only join after getting the reports,” said the principal.

The Inspector of Schools, Samina Yasmin Rahman is also of the view that the Pathak and Mech must have been more careful. “If they weren’t sure that they are negative, they must not have attended the school. We will look into the matter and if needed set up an inquiry,” said the School Inspector.

For Government Girls School, she said that it will remain open. “The 50% who weren’t present today will keep the school open and continue with official and learning schedule,” said school inspector.

Meenakshi Mech and Pinkimoni Pathak traveled intra-state and therefore, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Assam guidelines, a home quarantine is not mandatory. People from Karimganj travel to Cachar and work on a daily basis the guidelines are the same for those traveling from Tezpur and Guwahati too.

“It may not be a compulsion but it is definitely irresponsible for air passengers to go to public places before getting the RT-PCR report,” said ADC Cachar, Sumit Sattavan. Two teachers from Government Girls School, according to them, tested negative on Rapid Antigen Test Kit. “It is not conclusive and that is why we collect samples for RT-PCR. We advise the incoming passengers to remain at home till they get the RT-PCR report,” added Sattavan.

The two teachers will undergo treatment and hopefully, they will recover soon. It gets proven yet again, that RAT is not conclusive and especially when someone is dealing with children cautiousness is a must. While both principal and School Inspector said the teachers should have been more careful, it remains unknown why the principal exposed the inbound teachers to the students just a day after their arrival.

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