What is the ‘school bubble’ Karnataka has proposed for its students?

Source: This post is based on the Article “What is the ‘school bubble” published in “The Indian Express” on 31st August 2021.

What is the News?

The Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC) constituted by the Karnataka government has proposed the ‘school bubble’ concept to mitigate the spread of the disease among children (aged below 18) attending offline classes at schools and pre-university colleges across the state.

What are school bubbles?
  1. School bubbles are physical classifications made between groups comprising a small number of students. 
  2. As per the concept, each such bubble will include students who tend to remain as a group during school hours throughout the term or an academic year.
  3. For instance, a school bubble can include 30 students. If one among them gets infected, the others can self-isolate, but the school need not be closed completely. This would allow uninterrupted learning to others as well.
Why are school bubbles significant?
  1. The concept of school bubbles will be more relevant to students studying in primary school or below. These students will have more chances of peer-to-peer interactions on a daily basis. 
  2. Hence, with school bubbles in place, the risk assessment process to identify close contacts of a Covid-positive student will also get easier.

Is this concept completely new?

  1. No. This concept has already been implemented in the United Kingdom. The UK government has relaxed social-distancing measures for students within a particular school bubble. 
  2. However, all members of the bubble are mandatorily subjected to RT-PCR tests if a student is infected.
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