Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Thursday said the state government plans to fully vaccinate all teaching and non-teaching staff against COVID-19 and this would be done before reopening schools.
Pawar also said that parents will also be relieved if two doses of teachers, of the school their child is attending, are completed.
The final decision on starting schools in the state will be taken by the Chief Minister followed by the discussion with the task force, he added.
"However, the Center has instructed to celebrate the festivals at home. Schools were started in some states but the students tested positive within a few days. In the third wave, Kerala has the highest number of patients, followed by Maharashtra and thus the Centre has directed to take required measures," he said.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday had said the state government plans to fully vaccinate all teaching and non-teaching staff against COVID-19 by September 5, and this would be the first step towards reopening of schools.
Speaking to reporters in Jalna, the minister said a special drive was being conducted for this, adding that a state task force was of the view that schools in districts where there were no positive cases can be reopened.
Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 4,456 fresh coronavirus positive cases and 183 fatalities, including the highest 98 in the Pune region, while 4,430 patients recovered, a health department official said.
The new additions pushed the tally of the infections to 64,69,332, the death toll to 1,37,496 and the number of recoveries so far in Maharashtra to 62,77,230, leaving the state with 51,078 active cases, the official said.
Maharashtra's case recovery rate now stands at 97.03 per cent while the fatality rate is 2.12 per cent, he said.
Rural parts of Dhule, Jalna, Hingoli and Washim districts and municipal corporations of Malegaon, Dhule, and Nanded did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours.
The official said the Ahmednagar district reported the highest number of 653 cases in Maharashtra, followed by rural parts of Pune with 608 infections.
The highest number of fatalities across cities were reported in Pune (32) in the last 24 hours, the official said.
Of the eight regions in Maharashtra, the Pune region saw the highest 2,018 new cases followed by 876 infections in the Mumbai region.
Nashik region reported 783 fresh infections, Kolhapur 545, Latur 154, Aurangabad 33, Akola 22 and Nagpur 25, the official said.
Of the 183 fatalities reported from the eight regions, the highest 98 were from the Pune region, followed by 59 deaths in the Kolhapur region.
Notably, the Nagpur region did not report any fresh fatalities due to COVID-19 infection. Mumbai region saw 13 deaths, Nashik nine, Akola two and Aurangabad and Latur one each, the official added.
Mumbai city saw 415 new cases and four COVID-19 deaths while Pune city added 324 infections and 32 fatalities, he said.
Among the 51,078 active patients in Maharashtra, the Pune district has the highest number of 14,091 such cases, according to the official.
Of the 62,77,230 recovered patients in the state, the highest number of 10,86,386 recoveries have been reported from the Pune district.
With 1,78,004 new tests, the number of samples tested so far in Maharashtra reached 5,41,54,890, the official said.
A total of 2,90,427 people are in the home quarantine in the state and 2,071 patients are in institutional quarantine, according to the official.
Coronavirus figures for Maharashtra are as follows: Total cases 64,69,332, new cases 4,456, total deaths 1,37,496, fresh deaths 183, total recoveries 62,77,230, active cases 51,078, total tests conducted 5,41,54,890.
(With inputs from agencies)