Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the decision to reopen schools for primary classes to XII on Monday was taken after thorough consideration.
Schools were shut last month after a spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. Talking to reporters in Jalna on Sunday, Tope said the opening of schools was necessary for the brain development of children and it was not right to keep them at home for long.
The reopening of schools was a risk or middle path the state government decided upon to stop the spread of the virus as well as ensure children do not suffer.
"We have given a lot of flexibility and also stressed that following COVID-19 norms is a must," the minister said. While COVID-19 cases have increased over the past few days, 90-95 percent oxygen and ICU beds are vacant, he said, adding that restrictions would be eased if the rate of hospitalisation remains low.
The minister also informed that 90 percent of eligible beneficiaries in the state have taken the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while second dose coverage is in the 62-63 percent range.