By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 7, 2020, 12:21:31 pm
Coronavirus India News Live Updates: India’s COVID-19 cases crossed the 7 lakh-mark on Tuesday with 22,510 new cases and 474 deaths in the last 24 hours. Total positive cases stand at 720,707 including 20,178 deaths, 260,337 active cases, and 440,192 people have been treated and discharged so far, according to the Ministry of Health. The country has now overtaken Russia to become the third-worst hit nation in the world, only after the US and Brazil.
With no let-up in coronavirus cases in India, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development on Monday announced that the final-year exams in universities across the country would be conducted by September-end this year. Opening up possibilities of conducting the examination in multiple modes, the ministry said that universities could conduct these in online, offline, or blended mode.
Meanwhile, more than a fortnight before the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) wrote to clinical trial sites that it was “envisaged to launch” the Covid-19 vaccine “for public health use latest by 15th August 2020”, an expert committee of India’s drugs regulator had laid down four specific conditions that the company developing the vaccine candidate would have to meet.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) permitted Phase I and II clinical trials of Covaxin, but a Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which evaluates applications for clinical trials, said that Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech “should submit results of Phase I clinical trial to the DCGI before initiating the Phase-II study”.
Globally, the total number of coronavirus cases has crossed 11 million while deaths stand at 5.3 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University.
As parents struggle to pay fees, low-cost schools fear closure, dropouts
Teachers unpaid for months, mounting rent pressure, and pending fees — amidst a COVID-enforced shutdown, several low-cost private schools in the national Capital, catering to children from lower-middle-class and working-class families, are struggling to stay afloat.
Madhuri Aggarwal runs a primary school for children of migrant laborers in Pochanpur, in Southwest Delhi’s Dwarka, charging Rs 600 a month as fees for nursery students, with an incremental hike of Rs 50 for every subsequent class.
With a small student community of 300, her Winner’z Public School, she says, runs on a “no-profit-no-loss model”. “Everything we collect is diverted to the school. Around 99 percent of our parents are laborers and do masonry and carpentry jobs. Many of the mothers work as domestic help. Through this entire lockdown period, not a single parent has been able to pay fees. As a result, we have neither been able to pay our teachers nor our rent since April,” she says.
Unlike the more expensive private schools, low-cost schools operate with little financial cushioning, with almost all of them depending on the tuition fee they charge to run their operations. The economic distress that followed the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has left several parents struggling to pay tuition fees.