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Schools, colleges in Pune to reopen from February 1, announces Ajit Pawar

All schools and colleges in Maharashtra’s Pune district will reopen from February 1, announced Deputy Chief Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Saturday following a COVID-19 review meeting.

However, Pawar announced that parents would need to give their consent for students to attend offline classes.

“For classes 1 to 8, the school timings will be half of the regular timings, but for classes 9 to 10, the school will run as per the regular schedule. Colleges will also function as per regular time,” Pawar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“The further decision for classes 1 to 8 will be taken in the next meeting,” he added.

Pune was scheduled to reopen schools and colleges last week but the decision was postponed for eight days after a spike in COVID-19 cases. Later, the junior Pawar had said that a decision on reopening schools would be taken following the COVID-19 review meeting on January 29.

“I am in favour of reopening of schools, but the decision is postponed by eight days following a spurt in Covid cases in Pune,” he had said.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 situation in Pune has slightly improved. On Friday, it recorded 7,166 COVID-19 cases, taking the district’s tally to 13.88 lakh, while 12 deaths increased the toll to 19,429.

An official, quoted by news agency PTI, said 3,374 cases were reported in Pune city, 2,261 in Pimpri Chinchwad and 1,205 in rural and 98 cantonment limits. Till Friday, Pune had 2,520 active cases in institutional isolation and 73,471 in home quarantine, the official said.

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