When will Maharashtra govt consider reopening schools? Health Minister Rajesh Tope answers

The Maharashtra government will mull over the demand of reopening schools after the next 10-15 days, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday (January 16).

The schools have been closed in Maharashtra till February 15 in the wake of the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. Tope said the final decision on reopening schools will be taken by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

"Demands are rising from certain quarters for reopening of schools as children are suffering the education loss. We will consider it after 10-15 days as there is a low (rate of) infection among children. The chief minister will take the final call in this regard," PTI quoted Tope as saying.

Further, the state health minister said that the people seem to be not afraid of the coronavirus. "The COVID protocols must be followed strictly. Common people, as well as politicians, should avoid crowding,” he stated.

Tope added said that though the Covid-19 cases are increasing in Maharashtra, the “number of hospitalisations and the need for medical oxygen remain low”.

Maharashtra on Saturday reported 42,462 new coronavirus infections, 749 less than a day before. With 23 fatalities, the death toll mounted to 1,41,779 as of Saturday, the state health department said. The coronavirus caseload has reached 71,70,483 in the state.