Millions of Indonesian children return to classrooms

Jakarta, Aug 30 (EFE).- Millions of Indonesian children returned to school classrooms on Monday after a year and a half of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schools were closed in March 2020, with some using distance learning in the interim.

The face-to-face classes began Monday in Jakarta and Central Java – with a population of about 45 million – with a maximum capacity of 50 percent in each classroom and for a limited duration of between 60 and 175 minutes per week, said Jakarta deputy governor Ahmad Riza in a statement.

Jakarta, which has been home to the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the country, reopens schools with 85 percent of its teachers vaccinated, paving the way for the rest of the archipelago, where 15 percent of schools reopened in January.

The capital also planned to reopen at the beginning of this year, but it postponed its plans to avoid possible infections and could not do so in July as Indonesia became the global epicenter of the pandemic, with more than 2,000 deaths and 40,000 cases every day.

Just a month later, the numbers of infections have dropped to less than 20,000 a day (although the number of tests has also dropped) and daily deaths are at around 500.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, Indonesia has registered more than 4 million infections and more than 131,000 deaths from Covid-19.

Vaccination is proceeding slowly in this archipelago of 270 million people, with less than 13 percent of the population fully immunized and 22 percent having had one dose, mostly with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. EFE


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