Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday announced that schools in the Capital will remain closed till October 31 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Sisodia said in a tweet that the Delhi government did not want to put the health of students at risk, adding that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal understood the seriousness of the situation as he is also a parent.

Delhi has reported over 2.87 lakh coronavirus cases and 5,472 deaths so far. The Capital has had a concerning surge in cases last month.

In September, the Delhi government had ordered all schools to remain closed till October 5. It had allowed online classes to continue as usual.

The Centre, in its guidelines for “Unlock 5” on September 30, had allowed the states and Union Territories to make a decision on reopening schools and higher educational institutions in a staggered manner from October 15. The government had directed the states to consult the institutions first.

The home ministry had added that online/distance learning would continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and should be encouraged. “Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so,” it had said.

The government had however said that attendance would not be compulsory and students would only be allowed to come to schools with the consent of their parents.

Before the new guidelines came into effect, the Centre had allowed schools to partially reopen on a voluntary basis for Classes 9 to 12 from September 21.

India’s coronavirus tally rose to 65,49,393 on Sunday, as the country reported 75,829 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 940 to 1,01,782.