Telangana health dept asks offices, schools to resume in-person work, classes
The Telangana Health Department on Tuesday, February 8, declared that the third wave of COVID-19 is on the decline in the state. Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said that during the third wave, cases had started to increase on December 28, 2021, and peaked on January 28 before starting to drop. Stating that the third wave dominated by the Omicron variant has come to an end in Telangana, the DPH suggested that IT companies and other firms that had switched to a work-from-home policy return to working from their offices. He also noted the impact on learning due to school and college closures, and suggested that private schools also return to offline learning.
In Telangana, a majority of the cases (around 70%) were of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, he said, stating that this was one reason the decline in cases was delayed. On February 7, he said that only 1300 cases were officially reported in the state, with a test positivity rate under 2%. The bed occupancy rate was 4%, he said, of which half the patients were from states other than Telangana.
During the third wave, Srinivasa Rao said that the peak was observed on January 25, 2022, with 4,559 cases being officially reported.
“I request the IT industry and other sectors on behalf of the Telangana Health Department to put an end to work from home, keeping in mind the quality of work output and the many people who are dependent on these industries for their livelihood,” Srinivasa Rao said. He said that government educational institutions which were recently reopened have not reported any COVID-19 clusters, and also called for private educational institutions to resume physical classes
On February 3, the Telangana High Court directed educational institutions in the state to conduct online classes in view of the COVID-19 situation, after educational institutions reopened on February 1. The court directed schools to conduct online classes along with physical classes for those students who prefer the virtual mode in view of the pandemic situation.