Amid Omicron threat, BMC postpones reopening of Mumbai schools to 15 Dec
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday said it has pushed the reopening of schools in Mumbai to 15 December, instead of 1 December, in the wake of concerns over the emergence of the potentially more transmissible 'Omicron' variant of coronavirus
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday said it has pushed the reopening of schools in the city to 15 December, instead of 1 December, in the wake of concerns over the emergence of the potentially more transmissible 'Omicron' variant of coronavirus.
Schools for Classes 1 to 4 will reopen in rural areas and for Classes 1 to 7 in urban areas of Maharashtra from 1 December.
Speaking to reporters, BMC's education officer Raju Tadvi said, "The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has posed a new threat before us. We need some time to ensure safety and implement precautionary measures. Hence, we have decided to reopen the physical attendance in schools from 15 December."
There are 2,20,000 students studying in Classes 1 to 7 in the BMC schools, he said.
"We need to arrange for masks and sanitise all the schools. We also need to collect consent letters from parents before reopening the schools," the official said.
It is not mandatory for parents to submit the consent letter, the official said, adding if they do not want to send their children to school for the first few days, the students can attend online classes for civic schools.
The state education department has asked all local bodies to seek the consent of parents before reopening schools.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday warned that the global risk from the Omicron variant is very high based on the early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to surges with severe consequences.
The assessment from the UN health agency, contained in a technical paper issued to member states, amounted to WHO's strongest, most explicit warning yet about the new version that was first identified days ago by researchers in South Africa.
On Monday, Mumbai reported 115 fresh coronavirus cases, the lowest after the second half of April last year, taking the tally to 7,62,731.
Besides, four deaths increased the COVID-19 toll to 16,334 and recovery count reached 7,41,769, leaving the metropolis with 2,059 active cases, officials earlier said.
India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,79,01,241, which includes 8,961 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
COVID-19: India records 90,000 fresh cases, 56% higher than Wednesday; Omicron spreads but hospitalisation still low
The daily count reported today is at least 56 percent higher than yesterday when 58,097 cases were recorded. With this, the overall caseload rose to 3,51,09,286, while the toll climbed to 4,82,876
As per an analysis by a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose are the four most common symptoms of the Omicron variant