COVID-19: Schools in Mumbai to remain shut till January 31; over 6,100 children got first jab

Mumbai School News: Class 10 and Class 12 students are permitted to attend physical classes in Mumbai schools

COVID-19: Schools in Mumbai to remain shut till January 31; over 6,100 children got first jab COVID-19: Schools in Mumbai to remain shut till Jan 31 for classes 1 to 9 and 11 as Mumbai Covid cases spike
Press Trust of India | Jan 4, 2022 - 9:22 a.m. IST
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MUMBAI: ) Amid a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, including the Omicron variant, the civic body on Monday decided to shut schools of all mediums for classes 1 to 9 and also 11 till January 31, while over 6,100 children were inoculated on first day of vaccination for the 15-18 age group in the metropolis.

Also read | Omicron, Covid-19 India Updates (Live): States shut schools; over 40 lakh teens got first dose on day 1

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that students of Classes 10 and 12 are excluded from this decision which means they can attend schools in person. Classes for students of 1 to 9 and 11 will continue in online mode, as directed earlier. The decision to close schools was taken in view of the rising Covid cases in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, on the first day of vaccination drive for those aged 15 to 18 years, 6,115 children were administered the vaccine against COVID-19 in Mumbai, as per a BMC bulletin. Of these, 4,806 teenagers were inoculated at BMC-run centres, 148 at government facilities and 1,161 at private centres, the bulletin said.

The vaccine option for this age group is only Covaxin, according to guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on December 27. With this, the number of inoculated citizens in Mumbai reached 1,80,72,902, of which 80,97,064 have taken both doses. Later in the day, Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, told the media that students of Classes 9 and 11 will be allowed to visit schools for vaccination though schools will be shut for in-person learning.

Also read | Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad tests COVID-19 positive

Explaining the reasons behind shutting down schools, Kakani said it is necessary to follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour to contain the spread of the virus, but schoolchildren often tend to ignore norms and gather together in educational premises. He said they have decided to allow Class 10 and 12 students to attend physical schools as their practice sessions and preliminary exams are on.

Kakani said the number of daily cases and positivity rate have been increasing in the city, but the BMC is working on preventive measures and was ready to handle any crisis. “Out of 30,500 hospital beds in Mumbai, only 3,500 beds are currently occupied. Also, adequate oxygen supply, medicines, ventilators, ICU facility and hospital beds are available,” the civic officer said.

He said presently 90 per cent of the coronavirus patients are asymptomatic and only 4 to 5 per cent patients are being admitted to hospitals and the number of serious cases is negligible. Kakani said as compared to the previous two waves of COVID-19, there has been no significant surge in the infection among children so far. "Though the numbers are within limit, they have kept hospital beds and other things ready," he said.

The Maharashtra government had earlier resumed offline classes for Classes 5 to 12 on October 4. State colleges and universities were opened on October 20. In Mumbai, offline classes for Class 1 to Class 7 reopened on December 15. Previously, school education minister Varsha Gaikwad had said that Maharashtra schools may shut again due to increasing Omicron cases in Maharashtra, as per ANI.

Maharashtra Omicron cases are on the rise, with the state witnessing 50 new cases of omicron variant. Totally 510 Omicron cases were reported in Maharashtra. 328 cases of Omicron in Mumbai has been reported so far. Including the Omicron variant cases, Maharashtra Covid cases have increased up to 42,024, with fresh 11,877 cases as of January 2, reported PIB Mumbai.

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