Nearly one million students return to school in China's Zhejiang

HANGZHOU: The eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang on Monday partially reopened schools, with a total of 977,000 senior students in junior and senior high schools resuming classes in classrooms, as the novel coronavirus epidemic wanes in China.

On Monday (April 12) morning, students wearing masks had body temperatures taken and presented their digital codes proving their health conditions before entering schools.

"I'm happy to be back. Study at home was inefficient, and I don't want to miss the time with my classmates," said Yu Chaojie, a senior high third-grader of the Hangzhou Xuejun High School in the provincial capital Hangzhou.

Instead of speaking in an auditorium or the sports field, some school principals made their opening ceremony speeches via broadcast or video, a measure to prevent gathering and cross-infection.

"Over the past few months in fighting the virus, we have learned that we should cherish the things we have been used to. Only by cherishing them can we deserve them," Chen Ping, principal of Hangzhou Xuejun High School, said over the loudspeaker.

"I hope every one of you can become a kind person, a warrior and an ultimate winner in your own battle," Chen said.

Before reopening schools, multiple government departments organised 11 task force groups to inspect the epidemic prevention of the schools, an official with the provincial department of education said.

Thermometers, disinfectant and face masks were allocated to the schools, with temporary quarantine rooms and checkpoints established on campus.

All the students and teachers who returned from the hard-hit areas less than 14 days ago should be tested for the virus before returning to school.

As the epidemic has basically been contained in China, students in their final year of junior and senior high schools in many provincial-regions, including the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan and Hainan, as well as autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, have returned to school.

Beijing and Shanghai have announced that classes for high school seniors would reopen on April 27.

Affected by the outbreak, China's national college entrance exam will be postponed by one month to July 7 and 8, according to the Ministry of Education. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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