Srinagar, Jan 9: Amid the prevailing surge in COVID-19 and the threat of new virus variant Omicron, officials at the Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson School Srinagar have been accused of putting hundreds of human lives at risk by "hiding" the positive Covid diagnosis of several students at a winter camp, Greater Kashmir has learnt.
Parents, whose wards tested COVID positive during the 15-day camp at ski-resort Gulmarg, scheduled to conclude on Monday, January 10, told Greater Kashmir that the camp of 100 students was called off three days ahead of the schedule by the school management "while citing the prevailing bad weather".
It was only after an outcry and when the students themselves informed their parents about the positive Covid diagnosis, the parents came to know about the development, they said.
The development came to the fore on January 5 when one of the students who had met with an accident at the camp two days before and had to be brought to a Srinagar hospital, tested COVID-19 alerting other students and their parents, Fazal Kashani, a relative of the student said, adding another of their wards was still part of the camp at the time. The school however turned a blind eye thereby risking lives, Kashani alleged.
“We informed the school administration immediately asking them to test the rest of the students as a precautionary measure. The next day, they said they did and the reports came negative, but we grew suspicious,” he said.
As per the parents, the consistent denial from the school authorities further infuriated them after which they approached the concerned authorities and finally got the camp cancelled on Friday.
"I right away got my daughter tested on Friday and she tested positive. What shocked us further was that the school was in consistent denial mode. How can they risk lives like this?" an infuriated parent, who wished anonymity asked.
"The officials who were part of the camp had made a WhatsApp group and they kept on posting that everything was ok. When the school suddenly called off the trip citing bad weather, I was surprised," he said.
"Now when the COVID thing came to the fore, I had a heated argument with the school authorities on Friday. They have put everybody's lives at risk".
However, Chairman Tyndale Biscoe, Parvez Kaul disputed the parents’ claims saying they "instantly informed the parents to take their wards away".