Health News

China to stagger the return of students to school to curb virus: official

A man wearing a face mask leans on the Yinding Bridge at Houhai Lake, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Beijing, China February 11, 2020. Picture taken February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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.

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.

Reporting by Min Zhang and David Stanway; Editing by Shri Navaratnam