An official letter indicating the intention of the Jammu and Kashmir government to reopen schools in the mid of this month amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases has come as an irritant for parents who were against putting the kids to any risk of contracting the deadly virus.

Parents were questioning why was the administration in a hurry to reopen the schools when the coronavirus has engulfed all 20 districts of the Union Territory (UT) and the figure of those tested positive was steeply rising daily. The number of positive patients was increasing in the 10 districts of Jammu with every passing day and the entire Kashmir valley has been declared a Red Zone.

None of the neighbouring states, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana has yet decided the issue of reopening schools but the authorities in J&K appear in a haste to do this and put the kids to risk, say parents.

A letter of the director finance in the school education department that is marked to the directors of education in Jammu and Kashmir divisions indicating the government’s intention to reopen the schools in mid-June has gone viral on the social media.

The letter, written by the officer, ordered heads of all government schools to “provide a pair of masks and a pair of gloves to every student and ensure availability of 1000 ml bulk hand sanitizer and 1200 ml liquid soap with dispenser at the entry point to each government school”.

Meanwhile, the COVID related death toll increased to 33 on Tuesday when 2 persons in Kashmir died in a hospital. Both the victims belonged to north Kashmir.

The number of positive patients has crossed the figure of 2700 as more than one lakh persons have been evacuated by the UT administration from other parts of the country.

The UT of Ladakh, which was a few days ago declared corona-free, has again reported a spurt in the cases of the virus.

A three-time MP and a former union minister, P Namgial died due to the virus on Monday at a hospital in Leh.

The district magistrate of Leh has ordered the people who had come in contact with Namgial’s family to go for self-home quarantine instantly without any exemption.

An official release said that out of the 21 samples tested in the COVID-19 laboratory at Chuchot Yokma, 4 persons have been tested positive. One positive is from Leh and 3 from Kargil district. The total number of active cases in Ladakh is 33 and their condition is stable.