The Maharashtra government on Saturday announced reopening of schools for classes 9-12 from November 23. Education minister Varsha Gaikwad made the announcement a video conference held by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Gaikwad said all teachers will undergo RT-PCR coronavirus tests between November 17 and 22. “Schools will reopen on November 23, and students will undergo thermal checking at entry,” she said.
Daily new cases of coronavirus crossed the 50,000-mark again with India reporting 50,356 cases in the last 24 hours. With 7,178 cases, Delhi became the top contributor for the first time, ahead of Kerala and Maharashtra. About 54,000 people were declared to have recovered on Friday and active cases have come down to 5.16 lakh. India’s Covid-19 cases have risen to 84,62,081 and with 577 new deaths, the death toll has surged to 1,25,562.
Meanwhile, the vaccine against the novel coronavirus, when it arrives, will be prioritised on the principle of “protecting the health system and pandemic control system”, and those who have “excessive risk of mortality”, NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul, who chairs the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, has said.
Also, a fortnight after Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said it had “isolated” its data centre services after a cyber attack, Mumbai-based Lupin became the second major Indian pharmaceutical company to be hit by a similar attack. Indian pharma companies, currently plugged into the global supply chain for potential Covid-19 vaccines, have become more vulnerable, the experts said. More such attacks could be on the way, they warned.
On Friday, India sent out a message to several countries that it will use its strength in vaccine production and delivery to help humanity in fighting the coronavirus crisis. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said this during an interaction with ambassadors and high commissioners of foreign missions in India.