On February 27, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advised all public elementary, middle and high schools nationwide to suspend classes until the end of the spring holidays which begin at the end of March. The sudden announcement of almost a month of class suspensions caught many by surprise, reported JapanToday. About 12.8 million students in 34,800 schools will be affected, according to the education ministry.
The decision came as a response to the growing number of untraceable cases of Covid-19 within Japan. “The coming week or two is an extremely important time,” said Abe. “This is to prioritize the health and safety of the children and take precautions to avoid the risk of possible large-scale infections.”
After weeks of criticism for his lack of urgency in addressing the situation, Abe has announced the drastic step to illustrate the Government’s commitment to control the virus, reported The NY Times. The country is also under pressure to act promptly to preserve the Tokyo Olympics set to begin in July 2020.
While the decision could act as a precedent for others, Facebook power-user and CEO of Temasek Holdings, Ho Ching, shared some facts of encouragement to worrying parents, especially those with young children.
“One big consolation is that Covid-19 seems to be kind to young children,” wrote the prime minister’s wife on Facebook on February 28. “The cases to-date generally have mild or no symptoms, with zero fatalities,” she added.
Ms Ching, who has been following the numbers closely, noted that children form a small proportion of the confirmed cases. “This is probably because they usually have mild or no symptoms.” She mentioned that several young patients are selected through contact tracing and testing instead of being sent to clinics or hospitals due to serious symptoms.
While parents always worry when they have young children, one big consolation is that COVID-19 seems to be kind to young…
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