Published: 12th August 2021
No end to COVID fears as Maharashtra postpones reopening of schools
The COVID-19 Task Force in the state took a leaf out of the experience of states such as Punjab which saw an increase in juvenile COVID cases after schools reopened
The Maharashtra government has postponed the reopening of schools, scheduled to re-start from August 17, following a meeting of the COVID-19 Task Force held late on Wednesday, officials said in Mumbai on Thursday.
The meeting, chaired by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and attended by Task Force members, education and health department officials as well as a few district collectors, was held to decide on reopening of schools.
It decided that while some of the schools in rural areas, where there is no threat from coronavirus will continue to function, all other schools in the state, shut since March 2020, will not restart from August 17 as was planned earlier. Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik pointed out that in certain other states like Punjab, where schools were allowed to reopen, there was a sharp increase in the number of juvenile COVID patients.
The experts opined that since there is no vaccination available for the children who could be vulnerable to the infection, decision on reopening the schools should not be taken immediately. Now, the Task Force, Education Department officials will meet and discuss the matter with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who would take a final call on the issue.
Presently, offline classes from Std VII-XII are allowed with restrictions and COVID-19 protocols, but students in the lower classes will not be able to return to schools until further orders.