The COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra are increasing day by day. On Wednesday, in a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, the state recorded 8,807 fresh cases. Besides, the state reported 80 fatalities due to the infection, taking the tally to 51,937.
Although the state education department had allowed physical classes for Class 10 and 12 to resume in the state, schools in several district in Vidarbha, Marathwada region have been ordered shut. Schools in Pune had also been ordered shut on February 21.
Meanwhile, a total of 229 students of a public school hostel in Maharashtra's Washim district have tested coronavirus positive, an official said on Thursday.
Four school staffers have also tested positive, the official said, adding the area has been declared a containment zone.
Altogether 327 students from various districts in Vidarbha region reside at the hostel of the Bhavna Public School.
As per the report by Maharashtra Times, 51 including 43 students and 8 teachers tested positive in a school Solapur district.
In Satara district, as per the report by Zee News, 14 students tested positive in a school in Pusegav. Earlier, 9 students had tested positive in the same school.
Earlier this week, 39 students and five employees of a hostel in the Latur district of Marathwada had tested positive.
Risod tehsildar Ajit Shelar told PTI that the students had joined the Washim hostel on February 14.
Twenty-one students tested positive in the first few days after which RT-PCR tests of all the 327 students were conducted, he said.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on February 24, had appealed to the students to strictly follow the COVID-19 norms. His plea came in the wake of rise in cases in the state.
Tope, who is under medical observation after testing positive for the virus on February 19, in a letter in Marathi said, "Schools and colleges have started, but COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. The battle against the virus has been going on for a year now, but I am sure we will win this battle. You have been sitting at home for a year despite your age of running around, playing, and sweating on the field. But, now, I need your help to overcome this crisis."
Tope urged students to take care of themselves and their families too. Tope said, "First, take care of yourself, your family, as well as your neighbours. Your parents need to go out for work. Make sure, when they return, they wash their hands and legs properly. Also, when they go out, make sure they use hand sanitiser and wear a face mask. And if there are any COVID-19 symptoms, take them to the government hospital immediately." Tope further added that he is confident of winning the battle against the virus.
(With inputs from agencies)