Schools requested to help prevent spread of virus

Yang Meiping
China's Ministry of Education is calling on all schools to help contain a recent pneumonia outbreak through coordination with parents and students.
Yang Meiping

China’s Ministry of Education issued a notice on Tuesday, asking educational institutions to take measures to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus-related pneumonia.

The ministry is requiring schools and other educational organizations around the country to inform students and teachers about prevention and control of the disease, and to avoid unnecessary group activities during the Spring Festival and winter vacation. 

It also asks educational authorities in infected areas to formulate prevention and control plans as well as preparations for the new semester according to the development of coronavirus-related pneumonia. Such plans should include improving hygiene on campus, especially in key areas such as classrooms, dorms, canteens, sport venues, libraries and toilets.

When students and teachers return from holidays, schools should conduct temperature checks both in the morning and afternoon and record information about those on sick leave, including their health situation, said the notice.

Some schools in Shanghai have asked parents not to bring children to crowded places during winter vacation, which officially kicked off last weekend. They also asked parents to inform them if their child is suspected or confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus.

As winter vacation is also high time for cramming, some education companies are also taking action to prevent infection.

At a branch of EF Education First in Minhang District, students are asked to wear face masks throughout classes.

A teacher there told Shanghai Daily that the frequency of disinfection in classrooms and public areas has also increased.

But she also said that many students had asked for leave due to outbreak of the disease.

The New Oriental School announced that it would disinfect its classrooms every day to prevent infection and asked those suffering from cold and fever to stay at home. It said all its branches have prepared disinfectant and masks for students and parents.

Students' temperatures would also be checked when attending classes and those above 37.5 degrees Celsius would be registered and reported to authorities.

Shanghai Four Seasons Education said it now disinfects chairs and desks in classrooms after every lesson.

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