Mumbai | Jagran Education Desk: Amid the rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, which is the second-highest contributor in daily infections after Kerala, the MVA government has decided to postpone the reopening of schools in the state and nearby areas. Extending the closure of schools further, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Thursday said that the decision on reopening schools in Mumbai and surrounding areas will be taken after Diwali.

Earlier, the state government had formed a committee that will be responsible for setting the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines for the reopening of schools. The suggested guidelines include -- social distancing in classrooms, sanitization of schools, wearing of masks properly, staggered entry of students, and staggered school hours.

During the pediatric task force meeting, local corporations were given the authority to take a final call on whether offline classes will resume in schools in their respective areas. Further, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)said that they have already started working on the plan to ensure the safe return of the students.

“We are looking at the possibility of reopening schools post the Diwali break. However, the commissioner will make the final decision. It depends on the COVID-19 numbers after Diwali,” a senior official said.

Meanwhile, BMC education officer Raju Tadvi as quoted by India.com said, “The commissioner will make the final decision with the task force’s recommendation. We are also collating data related to the vaccination of teachers, especially of those from the secondary sections, as higher classes will be reopened in the first phase. The department is also preparing a plan for safe reopening, which will be given to all schools in the city, irrespective of which board they are affiliated to.”

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 3,608 new COVID-19 cases, up 477 from a day ago, and 48 fresh deaths, taking the infection tally to 65,31,237 and the toll to 1,38,664. With 4,285 patients discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, the number of recovered cases rose to 63,49,029. Maharashtra now has 39,984 active cases.

Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen