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A day after schools reopened for classes 8 to 12, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has made Covid-negative RT-PCR test results non-mandatory for teaching and non-teaching staff, provided they are fully vaccinated. However, the civic body has instructed the staff to get tested if any Covid-19 symptoms are noticed, as per a revised order issued by municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar.

Earlier, the PMC had permitted all schools within the limits of the civic body, Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) and Kirkee Cantonment Board (KCB) to restart classroom learning for classes 8 to 12.

The PMC had made it mandatory for teaching and non-teaching staff to produce Covid-negative RT-PCR test results, not older than 48 hours, to report to work. Also, they were asked to undergo RT-PCR tests every 15 days regardless of vaccination status.

As per the new order, only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated staff will have to take RT-PCR tests. However, with the increase in breakthrough Covid-19 infections among vaccinated people, the PMC has urged caution and directed even the fully vaccinated staff to get tested in case of any symptoms.

The civic administration has also directed schools to strictly follow the issued guidelines and standard operating procedures for the reopening. Schools will have to get consent from parents before students start attending classes.

The PMC had shut all schools during the first wave of Covid-19 last year and allowed them to reopen for classes 9 to 12 in January and classes 5 to 8 February. However, the schools were again shut due to the second wave of Covid-19 later.

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