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Maharashtra to reopen schools from Monday as Omicron cases fall

Mumbai, January 20

Maharashtra will reopen schools next week, its education minister said on Thursday, as new cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus fell sharply, even though it had the highest tally of infections nationwide.

Students wait in an observation room after being administered with Covid-19 vaccine dose in Mumbai on January 13. PTI

Over the last 24 hours, India hit a fresh eight-month high with 317,532 new infections, while deaths rose by 491, close to this month’s peak, although the figure included 85 from a previous wave in the southern state of Kerala.

In Mumbai, daily new infections fell on Wednesday to 6,032, down from an all-time high of 20,971 on January 7, municipal figures showed.

The city also reported India’s highest total of new infections at 43,697.

“We were getting demands that schools should start,” state education minister Varsha Gaikwad told reporters. “We have decided to reopen schools from Grade 1 to Grade 12 from Monday.” The spike in infections had prompted the closures early in January, after most grades resumed temporarily last month.

In New Delhi, where Omicron infections have also fallen sharply since the surge this month, city authorities said they were considering lifting curbs.

Delhi has shut schools, private offices, restaurants and has imposed weekend curfew. Reuters

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