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Education Ministry announces two-week closure of schools in Male'

Mariyam Malsa
04 August 2020, MVT 15:21
Thermal screening being conducted before students are allowed inside a school in the capital city of Male'. The Ministry of Education has announced a two-week closure of schools in the capital. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI
Mariyam Malsa
04 August 2020, MVT 15:21

The Ministry of Education, on Tuesday, announced that schools in the capital city of Male' would be closed from August 9 to 19 as a measure to reduce the further spread of COVID-19.

During the two-week closure, finalised after consultation with the Health Protection Agency (HPA), schools will continue conducting regular classes through online means.

Following the mid-term break and Eid holidays, schools were scheduled to reopen on August 9.

Despite noting the psychosocial importance of schooling, the Education Ministry asserted that ensuring the safety of students was the top priority.

According to the ministry, the public health situation will be taken into consideration following the two-week closure, before further decisions regarding schools are finalised.

The Education Ministry also urged students, teachers and parents to prioritize general hygiene while at home and follow HPA's coronavirus safety guidelines.

After a long period of closure since March 12 to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Maldives, teaching for all grades across the country resumed, on July 1, except in the capital area.

In Male', only grades nine to 12 commenced while online lessons were provided for lower grades. The ministry had earlier announced plans to resume teaching grades seven and eight on August 16.

The two-week closure comes amid a marked increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases which occurred after the state eased lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. The government initiated efforts to steer the country toward a 'new normal' in response to a sustained decrease of cases in June.

The total percentage of recovered patients has fallen from the peak 86 to 63 percent due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.

Maldives now records total 4,293 confirmed and 1,489 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,670 recoveries and 18 deaths.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 18.4 million people and claimed over 697,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 11.6 million people have recovered.

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