Even though the Maharashtra Cabinet has approved the reopening of schools from pre-primary to 12th standard from January 24, schools in Pune district will remain shut for another week, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday. The decision was taken after the Pune administration has cited that it has yet to see the peak in the corona cases. Further, the Pune district’s weekly positivity rate is 38.54% which is quite high compared to the state’s average of 23.48%.
Pawar, who reviewed the pandemic situation, said, “I was of the view that the schools should reopen. However, after the presentation about the situation in the district was made by the Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, public representatives including the mayors of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and the president of the Pune zilla parishad argued in favour of postponing the school reopening by another week.’’ He further added that ‘’ It was also said that Pune’s peak is yet to happen. The fact that there are a few holidays next week was also considered.”
He, however, announced that the swimming pools and sports facilities for fully vaccinated people will be reopened. Public parks will also open, in the morning hours, for the citizens who have taken two vaccine shots.
The DCM said the government has stepped up efforts to increase the pace of COVID 19 vaccination even though it has not been made mandatory for the citizens. “We are pressing for 100 per cent vaccination as it is not the matter of individual well being but also of family and the community in general,’’ he noted.
In a statement issued by DCM’s office, Pawar has asked the Pune Divisional Commissioner to expand the Pune Zilla Parishad's ‘’Covid-Free Village’’ competition to other districts in the Pune division.
According to Pawar, not a single COVID-19 case was detected in 44-gram panchayats in the Pune district. Of these 17 villages are in the Bhor tehsil alone.