China to stagger return of students to school to curb spread of coronavirus

 Pupils exercise under an inflatable dome at Beijing Huijia Private School. China would coordinate with schools and local authorities to try to reduce the number of students returning at any one time.
Pupils exercise under an inflatable dome at Beijing Huijia Private School. China would coordinate with schools and local authorities to try to reduce the number of students returning at any one time.PHOTO: ST FILE

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China will stagger the return of students to school across different regions in order to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, a government education official said on Wednesday (Feb 12).

Wang Dengfeng, an official in charge of virus prevention at the Ministry of Education, told a media briefing that China would coordinate with schools and local authorities to try to reduce the number of students returning at any one time.

Ten provinces and regions as well as the municipalities of Shanghai and Chongqing have all announced that schools will remain closed until at least the beginning of March, as they try to get to grips with the epidemic that has already killed more than 1,100 people on the Chinese mainland.

The coronavirus disease, now officially named Covid-19, has killed more than 1,100 people in

China, with total confirmed cases there topping 44,650 as of Feb 11. Hundreds of cases have been reported in dozens of countries and territories around the world.