Seoul: South Korea ’s high school opened for the first time on Wednesday this year. The masked elderly returned to the classroom. This is a pioneer of a phased plan that reopens all schools in accordance with strict agreements to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Since March, the beginning of the spring semester has been delayed several times because South Korea has organized online classroom training to combat the first large-scale outbreak of coronavirus outside China.
But since the peak in February, the number of daily coronavirus cases has dropped sharply. On Wednesday, teachers wearing thermometers and hand sanitizers welcomed preschoolers wearing masks to study in high school.
“Schools have been anxiously waiting for all you students for the past three months,” Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, told students at a high school entrance.
“From now on, we are entering an important phase where we need to succeed in both studies and (coronavirus) prevention.”
Some students put their arms on their friends’ shoulders, but the teacher told them to keep their distance. Private sanitary contractors riding motorcycles spray disinfectant back and forth.
According to the new health guide for schools, students and teachers must wear masks and ask them to wipe their desks during mealtimes. The windows will open to improve air circulation, and the distance between the desks is 1 meter (3 feet).
Starting from high school students, the school will be reopened in stages between May 20 and June 1, and all 5.5 million elementary school, junior and high school students can participate.
The Ministry of Education tracks whether teachers or students have an online self-diagnostic system for fever, and anyone whose temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) must stay at home.
If any student tests positive for the virus, the entire school will switch to an online course until it is considered safe for the returning student.
As of midnight on Tuesday, South Korea reported 32 new cases, bringing the national statistics to 11,110 cases and 263 deaths.