Pune: PMC decision to start coaching classes raises hopes for colleges and universities

In a decision that has raised hopes for reopening of classroom teaching in colleges and universities, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) from Monday allowed those inoculated with Covid-19 vaccines to participate in sports activities and attend coaching classes for competitive examinations.

The coaching classes for competitive examinations can operate with 50 per cent capacity on weekdays. “The coaching classes for competitive examination can start on the condition that students as well as teachers have taken at least one dose of the Covid vaccine,” municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar said in his order.

Meanwhile, there is a demand that classes in colleges should begin with vaccinated students and staff. “We need to urgently vaccinate all university students and start colleges and universities in the next 30-60 days. Not doing so risks putting the future of a generation at a stake. Learn to live with Covid. Have been requesting this for weeks,” tweeted Sudhir Mehta, President of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and leader of the Pune Platform for Covid Response (PPCR).

He has requested all universities in the city to urgently start vaccination drives and complete 100 per cent first dose vaccination in the next 30 days for all students and faculty. After that there is no reason to deny full opening of universities, he said. “We have spoken to many of the universities in Pune and they will be starting vaccination camps in the coming week subject to receipt of the necessary approvals.”

Similarly, the PMC has allowed indoor and outdoor sports activity all days of the week till 4 pm but on the condition that the participants and employees of indoor facilities are fully vaccinated.

This would apply to only those above 18, eligible for vaccination, said a civic official.

The implementation of the order would be applicable in civic limits and Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) as well as Kirkee Cantonment Board (KCB).

Meanwhile, the PMC has decided to continue with the restrictions on shop timings and citizen movement citing slight increase in test positivity rate and active Covid-19 cases and the emergence of the Delta plus variant of the virus. It has also scaled up vaccination in the city. Essential and non-essential services are permitted only on weekdays till 4 pm.

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