Even as demands by parents’ groups grow for the reopening of schools for all classes, the decision about it should be taken within a fortnight. “The health department has given a green signal for the reopening of schools, primary onwards. The decision is now pending with the CM. This should happen within a fortnight,” Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told CNN News18. But, he said that the health department has also added a rider that all children between the age group of 12 to 18 should be vaccinated.
Maharashtra cabinet is likely to take a call on it in the cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Several meetings have taken place for the discussion of this topic till now. “There is no objection from my department. We have given a clear positive note that schools can be reopened. But of course, the students belonging to the age group of 12 to 18 should get vaccinated. Adding that rider, we have allowed the school department to open schools. But the final approval has to be given by the CM. That decision will be taken in the near future,” he said.
He added that children between 12 to 18 years were being vaccinated in many countries. “It isn’t really about the infection in younger children. We have seen that hardly any serious cases have been reported from children. But they may end up infecting their grandparents, their comorbid family members. And that is why we have to be careful,” he said.
Several parents’ groups have been seeking reopening of physical schools with the number of Covid cases coming down. Parents’ groups say that children are being allowed on play grounds, in malls, in other public places, and should be allowed to attend schools too.
Meanwhile, though Maharashtra’s Covid count has been going down substantially, the Centre has now written to the State seeking that more testings be done on a daily basis.