Decision On Reopening Schools In July After Assessing Situation: Centre

Unlock 1: The Health Ministry will make a list of standard operating procedure in consultation with other ministries and departments related to education to ensure social distancing

Unlock 1: The government said it will decide on reopening schools in July amid coronavirus pandemic

New Delhi:

The government today said schools, colleges, coaching centres and other educational institutions will be reopened after discussing the coronavirus situation with the states and Union Territories in July.

"Schools, colleges, educational, training, coaching institutions... will be opened after consultation with states and UTs (Union Territories). State governments and UT administrations may hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on reopening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July, 2020," the Home Ministry said in a statement.

The Health Ministry will make a list of standard operating procedure in consultation with other ministries and departments related to education to ensure social distancing and contain the spread of COVID- 19, the government said in the statement today.

The Home Ministry said all activities will be allowed in areas outside containment zones, except for a select few like malls and restaurants that will reopen in phases and some for which no decision has been taken yet.

All containment zones will be under lockdown till June 30 and only essential services will be allowed, the government said.

All schools and colleges were closed after the lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late March.

Parents are also concerned that reopening schools and colleges before the pandemic is assessed to be contained could be risky for their children. Medical experts have warned that children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, which attacks the lungs.

Summer vacation has already started in schools across the country amid the lockdown. Till now hundreds of schools have been taking classes online using video conferencing, even for kindergarten and playschools.

The central education boards have had to defer their exam dates.

India reported the biggest single-day jump in the number of new coronavirus patients and those who died due to the highly infectious illness with 7,964 fresh cases and 265 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 1,73,763 cases, according to data shared by the Health Ministry this morning.

The country has logged 4,971 deaths since the pandemic began. More than 80,000 patients have recovered so far. Of these, a record number of 11,264 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.