West Bank reopens schools despite rising infections

Jerusalem, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- Schools in the West Bank reopened their doors on Sunday amid a second wave of coronavirus infections sweeping through Palestinian territories.

More than 350,000 students in preschool and primary school returned to classrooms while the rest of the year groups will be going back gradually during the coming week.

School was suspended in March at the start of the pandemic and Palestinian students returned amid stict hygiene measures for staff and pupils.

Around 300,000 primary school students, aged six to 10 years old, resumed in person classes along with around 60,000 youngsters at nurseries, according to the education ministry.

There are some 1,100 educational facilities that have reopened their doors throughout the West Bank, including in the city of Hebron, which has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections and deaths in the country.

Instructions for preventing contagion in schools include the mandatory use of masks for all staff and children over 11 years of age, who will begin classes in two weeks.

Everyone has to wash their hands before the start of each class and school transport will run at 60 percent capacity and has to keep the windows open.

Parents are not allowed to enter school buildings, where a minimum distance will be maintained between students and anyone with symptoms will be sent home immediately.

In 96 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, attended by about 45,000 students, a blended learning system has also been implemented to reduce the number of pupils in class at once.

The majority of students will return to class between now and 20 September.

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