Schools in Maharashtra will reopen for all classes from next week, the state's Education Minister said today. All the schools will have to ensure that Covid protocols are in place, Varsha Gaikwad, Maharashtra School Education Minister, said as she announced the news.
"From 24 (January) we will be reopening schools for classes 1-12th with COVID protocols; Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has agreed to our proposal, Ms Gaikwad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Last week, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said that there was a demand for the reopening of schools in the state.
"Demands are rising from certain quarters for reopening of schools as children are suffering the education loss," he said.
Earlier this month, the Maharashtra government had announced the closure of schools in the state till February 15 as the number of coronavirus cases started spiralling from December amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant.
"After COVID cases rose, the government decided not to continue with the school (offline) sessions. But after discussion with the experts, it has been decided to start the sessions where the number of cases is low based on the local COVID-19 situation," Ms Gaikwad said.
Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded 43,697 new coronavirus positive cases, 10 per cent more than the previous day, including 214 Omicron infections, and also saw 49 fatalities, the health department said.
With this, the state's caseload reached 73,25,825, while the fatality count rose to 1,41,934.
The fresh Omicron cases took the tally of those infected with this strain to 1,860, it said.