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School reopening makes a squeaky start due to virus cases
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.05.20 18:32
  • Updated 2020.05.20 18:32
  • comments 0

High schools in Korea started offline classes for senior students after 80 days of the shutdown on Wednesday. Still, many had to close their gates again, sending students home, faced with a series of Covid-19 cases.

In various regions, such as Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, North Gyeongsang Province, and North Chungcheong Province, some of the students showed symptoms of coronavirus, including fever and diarrhea, forcing their teachers to send them back home or public health centers for tests.

According to the Ministry of Education, 75 high schools throughout the country sent all students home and shut down their campuses.

The Incheon Metropolitan Office of Education said two high school students in the western port city were confirmed of Covid-19. The confirmed patients visited a karaoke room and showed a positive response to the test. The two were urgently transported to negative pressure rooms at a local hospital.

“Some confirmed patients frequently used multiuse facilities, and some of their ravel routes have not been identified yet,” said an official at the regional education office. The educational authorities in the nation’s third-most populous city will decide whether to push ahead with offline classes after consulting with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A municipal official said that having a fever does not necessarily mean that one must visit a screening clinic. “If additionally taken measure shows abnormality, we tell the person to visit the clinic,” he said.

The Education Ministry has left the decision on continuing offline classes to regional education offices, depending on the overall situations of virus outbreaks.

Officials are facing a dilemma because any further delays of normalizing classes will lead to hitches in the academic calendar, particularly concerning the college entrance tests of the high school seniors.


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