Things look bleak for Maharashtra as COVID-19 cases of the new Omicron variant increase, particularly in Mumbai. Just last month colleges and schools across the state opened their doors to students after nearly 2 years. But with the number of cases rising and a new variant on the rise, students and parents are asking a relevant question: will schools in Maharashtra close again? There is currently no clear answer to this question as it is too early to say.
Just yesterday, December 30, 2021, Mumbai reported more than 3000 cases of COVID-19. However, the death toll has remained low as no deaths were reported yesterday. However, given the exponential growth in the number of cases, the state is likely to close schools in the city, if not all of the state.
Regarding the closure of schools in Maharashtra, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope assured that the schools will remain open for the time being. In addition, students aged 15-18 must be brought to vaccination centers in groups or batches. This increases the vaccination rate in the state.
When the country saw an increase in COVID-19 cases, there was a positive development in the field of vaccination. After a long wait, the central government has given all states permission to vaccinate people between the ages of 15 and 18. Shortly afterwards, the Maharashtra government decided to vaccinate this age group from January 1st, 2022.
Maharashtra State Minister Aditya Thackeray disagreed with the Minister of Health. According to him, the situation is being closely monitored. A specific decision about the school closure will be made after 15 days. Although face-to-face classes may be suspended, online education will continue as it did during the blackout period.
Thackeray went on to explain that people should mask themselves and follow all COVID-19 protocols. It is currently the holiday season at schools and universities. So it doesn’t make sense to close it, as many students haven’t been to their school for a long time.
Earlier, Maharashtra’s Minister of Education, Varsha Gaikwad, reiterated that the health of all students was a top priority. As the Omicron variant cases increase, there will be no choice but to close the physical classes. The minister herself recently contracted COVID. Therefore, she remains very concerned about this matter.
Overall, according to statements by several state ministers, it can be said that the chances of the school reopening are 50:50. The state’s medical machinery is closely monitoring and working to contain the further spread of the infection, while also urging citizens to adhere to all necessary COVID protocols. It is certain that even if the government were considering reopening schools, it would not do so immediately or in a few months. It will first try to contain the virus and avoid spreading to the community at all costs. In addition, the general trend on various social media and microblogging sites such as Twitter is that students and parents do not immediately think about reopening schools due to the threat posed by the new variant. Students are happy with the online mode, despite the fact that it has put pressure on the country’s academic framework.
Put simply, it is too early to predict whether the state government will close schools in Maharashtra again. However, there is a high chance that schools in Mumbai will close due to an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases. The severity of the Omicron variant, the number of fatalities and the number of hospital admissions are taken into account in the decision.
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