Maharashtra School Reopening News Today: Can schools be REOPENED safely from August 17? Find out what the COVID-19 task force has to say

Maharashtra School Reopening News Today: With the number of COVID-19 cases in countries dropping, states are issuing guidelines to ease lockdown restrictions. Malls, restaurants and other venues have reopened in several states, adhering to COVID-19 protocol. Schools have also started to reopen in several states. Schools in Maharashtra are expected to open from August 17, 2021. However, the state’s COVID-19 task force has advised the government against reopening schools in the state.

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According to a report by news channel Zee Business, the Maharashtra COVID-19 task force said now is not the right time to reopen schools in the state. Instead, schools should remain closed and online classes should continue as they are now. The task force said that children under 18 have not yet been vaccinated and therefore health risks to students cannot be fully avoided if schools are reopened for offline lessons.

It should be noted that Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad had posted a series of tweets from her official Twitter account for the reopening of schools in the state. She also posted SOPs to be maintained in schools for offline lessons.

In one of his tweets, Gaikwad said, “Schools in areas where coronavirus cases are under control can restart physical classes for Std 5-12th in rural areas and 8-12th in urban areas from of August 17. The safe resumption of schools is being considered to ensure that all students have equal access to education amid the pandemic.”

In a later tweet, she added, “School hours will be limited to 3-4 hours per day. No cultural or sporting events requiring a gathering will be permitted in schools. Schools must provide isolation facilities and liaise with the local health department for any emergency.

The Zee Business news channel report said the government had said that while schools would reopen, students would not be forced to come to schools. Notably, the task force had advised the reopening of schools, however, the task force is now suggesting against reopening schools because in states where offline classes have resumed, teachers and students are infected with COVID-19 . So far, 17 teachers and 24 students have been affected by COVID-19 according to the Zee Business channel. These schools were again closed for a few weeks due to this situation.

The situation was somewhat the same in Chhattisgarh, a week after schools reopened, 45 students were affected by the COVID-19 infection. In addition to this, low vaccination of teachers and non-teaching staff is also a major cause for concern. According to data from the education department of the Punjab government, less than 32% of teachers in public schools have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Karnataka, 19% of public school teachers are fully vaccinated according to news channel Zee Business.

According to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), as of August 13, 2021, India is reporting 40,120 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

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