Schools in the national capital which are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic are unlikely to reopen until a vaccine is available, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday. Universities and schools across the country were closed on March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"Until we get some vaccine, schools (in Delhi) are not likely to open, Sisodia, who is also Delhi's Education Minister, told reporters. He had announced on October 30 that schools will remain closed until further orders, saying parents were not in favour of sending their ward to schools yet. "We keep getting feedback from parents that they are really concerned about whether it is safe to reopen schools. It is not. Wherever schools have reopened, COVID-19 cases among children have risen. So we have decided that as of now schools in the national capital will not reopen. They will continue to be closed till further orders," Sisodia had said then.
A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25. While several restrictions have been eased in different 'unlock' phases, educational institutions continue to remain closed. According to 'Unlock 5' guidelines, states can take a call on reopening schools in phases. Several states also began the process of reopening schools. While some of them announced closure again due to rise in coronavirus cases.
Earlier, schools were allowed to call students from Class 9 to 12 to school on voluntary basis from September 21. However, the Delhi government decided against it. Delhi recorded 4,454 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday and a positivity rate of 11.94 per cent while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,512, authorities said.
These relatively low number of fresh cases came out of the 37,307 tests conducted on Sunday, including 18,046 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department. On last Friday, authorities had said that 23,507 RT-PCR tests, the highest till date, were conducted a day before. The highest single-day spike till date here — 8,593 cases — was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded.
As many as 121 fatalities were recorded on Monday, same as the previous day. This is the sixth time in the last 12 days that the daily number of deaths has crossed the 100-mark.