India to reopen schools despite 89,700 new cases

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The Indian government on Wednesday said it would reopen schools for students in upper grades after more than five months of closure amid a daily rise of 89,706 coronavirus infections.

According to India’s Health Ministry in its daily update, this figure takes its second-highest tally globally to more than 4.3 million cases.

At least 1,115 deaths linked to the virus were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 73,890, the Health Ministry said in its daily update.

India is the second-most infected country globally, with 4,370,128 cases, behind only the United States, which has a total of 6,327,793 cases, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The ministry announced late Tuesday the partial reopening of schools from September 21 for students between 9th and 12th grade.

The final decision has been left to parents, who will have to provide written permission for their children to go to school, the ministry said.

Online learning will still be permitted. There was no word on opening schools for younger students.

The guidelines were released as part of the fourth phase of easing lockdown restrictions.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 India set to mass produce vaccine – Modi

India imposed a strict lockdown on March 25 and began lifting curbs since mid-May, in spite of a surge in infections, to revive a virus-battered economy that has seen a loss of millions of jobs.

Among new relaxations, metro services in Indian cities, including New Delhi and Bengaluru, resumed operations on Monday.

India’s top tourist attraction, the Taj Mahal, is also due to reopen from September 21, with strict safety and distancing measures.

(dpa/NAN)



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