Coronavirus (COVID-19) World

Students wearing face masks arrive at the Huayu Middle School in Shanghai on April 27, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

Mon 27 April 2020:

Children in China’s two most important cities went back to school Monday after more than three months at home, as coronavirus restrictions eased and governments around the world began charting a path out of the pandemic lockdown.

Europe’s four worst-affected countries all reported marked drops in their daily death tolls, offering hope that the outbreak may have peaked in some places — at least for now.

But leaders and experts remain divided on how quickly to revive shuttered economies while maintaining a delicate balance between freedom and safety.

Italy and New York laid out partial reopening plans, with France and Spain to follow suit this week, while tens of thousands of students returned to school in Shanghai and Beijing after months of closures.

Shanghai students in their final year of middle and high school were allowed back into their classrooms on Monday, while in Beijing only high school seniors were back on campus, furiously studying for the make-or-break university entrance exam.

Students must have their temperatures checked at school gates and show “green” health codes on an app that calculates a person’s infection risk, according to China’s Ministry of Education.

Virus numbers in China — where the disease first emerged late last year — have dwindled as the country begins to cautiously lift control measures, although fears remain over a potential resurgence and cases imported from abroad.

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