Final year of primary and secondary school students in China returned to their classrooms on Monday after a long closure, which began with the Lunar New Year holiday and was later extended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the primary and secondary schools that have reopened have only allowed seniors back on campus as they have to prepare for tests to gain admission into high schools and universities respectively, said Wang Dengfeng, director of the Ministry of Education's leading group on the COVID-19 response.
Provision for psychological counseling
The schools have also arranged for psychological counseling for the students if needed, Wang added. However, Wang did not specify how many schools had reopened nor how many students had been affected by the measure, reports Efe news.
According to state television CGTN, in Beijing alone, 49,000 high school seniors returned to their classrooms with the aim of preparing for the "Gaokao", China's college entrance examination, which this year has been pushed back by a month, to July 7 and 8.
Beijing's authorities, who recently declared a central district as a high-risk area due to a small outbreak, are not yet considering allowing other students back on campus, according to Wang.
Gradual resumption of classes across the country
Xinhua news agency in a report said schools would subject students to the customary virus containment and prevention measures, which usually include taking their temperature and making it mandatory to cover the mouth and nose with a mask, although it did not specify them.
Meanwhile, state newspaper China Daily said that 30 provinces in the country, including Beijing and Shanghai, had reopened their schools so far. The resumption of classes in schools in different provinces across the country is taking place gradually and in a distinct manner depending on the health situation in those areas as a result of the pandemic.
During the months that the schools have remained closed, many students have continued their classes online. In its bulletin on Monday, China's National Health Commission reported that there were 723 "active" infections in the country, 52 of which were critical. China has officially confirmed 82,830 coronavirus cases to date, with 4,633 deaths.