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The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday announced that schools may be closed again if the Covid situation worsens in the state. It further asserted, currently, attendance in schools is not compulsory for students.

Offline classes for standard 9 to 12 started from August 16 in the state, while for classes  six to eight, schools will be opened from August 23 and for classes one to five from September 1.

While replying to a question by teacher constituency member Dhruv Kumar Tripathi at the state legislative council, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, “In basic education, attendance is not compulsory. We have also not made attendance mandatory for classes from 9 to 12." 

"Guardians, teachers and political organisations have also said the offline education should be started even if it is for a shorter period," he said. 

“In UP, the present atmosphere is sufficiently secure but if there is any indication of any concern (regarding Covid), we can also close schools," he added. 

The minister also asked the Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh that whether there are any arrangement for vaccination of teachers and students below 18 years of age. 

Vaccine for children will be available by September

In a supplementary question, SP member Shatrudra Prakash asked the minister if it is safe for little children to go to school without vaccination. Replying to it, he said, “The vaccine for children below 18 is not yet available but it is expected to be available by September. He said after the vaccine is available, a campaign will be launched to inoculate children." 

Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh increased to 17,09,025 on Wednesday as 35 more people tested positive for the disease. The death toll climbed to 22,787 with one fresh fatality. The number of active cases of the disease in Uttar Pradesh stands at 419, as per the state health bulletin.

The total number of recoveries in the state has reached 16,85,819, the bulletin stated.

(With inputs from agencies)

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