Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asks parents to take care of children’s health
After staying shut for over one-and-a-half years due to COVID-19, schools reopened across Maharashtra on Monday for students of Class V to XII in rural areas and VIII to XII in urban pockets.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the decision to reopen schools in the State was tough and urged parents to take care of their children’s health.
“Let us try and ensure that schools that we have re-opened today will not have to be shut anytime soon. Care must be taken by staff to ensure that classroom windows are kept open and rooms are ventilated,” said Mr. Thackeray, adding that the government was in regular consultation with the State COVID-19 task force.
Mr. Thackeray, along with School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad and other authorities of the education department and the COVID-19 task force, was speaking during an online interaction with parents and students.
Ms. Gaikwad said all efforts would be made to improve the quality of education to make up for the losses incurred by students due to the closure of schools.
A decision to reopen schools in a phased manner was taken last month following a survey conducted by the School Education Department. It is not mandatory for students to attend physical classes and parents have been asked to fill consent forms before sending their wards.
Students appeared excited while entering the schools and meeting their friends, classmates and teachers after a long gap. At the school gates, authorities ensured that all the students wore proper masks and sanitised their hands before entering the premises. Distancing was ensured in classrooms too by allowing only one student to sit on a single bench.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported 2,026 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest after February 2, and 26 deaths on Monday, taking the tally of infections to 65,62,514 and the fatalities to 1,39,233, a health department official said.
On February 2, Maharashtra had reported 1,927 COVID-19 cases.
Maharashtra’s case recovery rate now stands at 97.31 per cent while the fatality rate is 2.12 per cent.
On Monday, nine districts and four municipal corporations did not report any new COVID-19 case.
At 339, Mumbai reported the highest number of cases in the last 24 hours, the health official said.
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