KOHIMA- Three districts in Nagaland have shut schools for a week from Monday amid rising cases of conjunctivitis in the state, officials said. Schools will remain closed in Dimapur, Chumoukedima and Nuiland till August 26, they said.
Announcing the closure of schools, the deputy commissioners of Chumoukedima, Dimapur and Niuland in separate orders said, cases of conjunctivitis have been rising, especially among children, and after deliberation with officials of the Health Department and School Education Department, it is hereby decided that physical classes shall remain suspended to contain the spread of infections.
However, the DCs urged the school authorities to explore options like online classes for the students during this period. Principal Director of School Education Thavaseelan K told PTI that the department would not be issuing any state-wide order but the DCs have been empowered to suspend physical classes considering the situation in their districts. Considering the severity of the situation in Dimapur, Sema along with his team assessed the state of affairs at the district hospital.
Expressing hope that the closure of schools would help in reducing the cases, he said conjunctivitis is seasonal and is expected to be over when monsoon subsides. Meanwhile, the All Nagaland Private Schools’ Association (ANPSA) Central appealed to the Dimapur administration to revoke the order for the closure of schools, stating that schools in the district are not witnessing any unmanageable outbreak of conjunctivitis.
An Assam Rifles personnel, who returned to Phek district from leave in July, reported the first case of conjunctivitis, state programme officer for the National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment (NPCBVI) doctor Hoito Sema told PTI.
Since July 1, the state has reported 1,006 cases so far, which is the highest in recent history, he said. Dimapur has reported the highest number of cases at 721, followed by Kohima at 198 and Mokokchung at 87, he added. The number of cases is likely to rise as several district hospitals are yet to submit their reports, Sema said.