Coronavirus News Asia

Macau to reopen schools while HK struggling

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The Macau government says it will allow schools to resume classes next month after the gaming city has not recorded any new Covid-19 infections since April 9.

With a population of 630,000, Macau had recorded 45 cases of coronavirus infections as of Sunday; 20 of them have been discharged from hospitals while the remaining 25 are in stable condition. 

The city’s 13,248 senior-secondary-school students can go back to class on May 4, while its 14,341 junior-high-school students can do so on May 11. The Education Bureau will decide when to resume classes for students of primary schools, kindergartens and special education schools.

However, the possibility of canceling all classes for kindergartens and special education schools before the summer holidays cannot be ruled out, depending on the epidemic situation, the government said. Interviews for kindergarten admission will be allowed to kick off from June 7. 

Schools are recommended to use various methods, instead of only final examinations, to evaluate their students’ progress. Grade repetition should be avoided. 

About 3,000 students who live across the border in Zhuhai and study in Macau will be exempted from a 14-day mandatory quarantine. 

The Hong Kong government can only consider letting schools reopen on May 7, a full 28 days after the last confirmed local Covid-19 case, said David Hui Shu-cheong, chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

It should extend all social-distancing measures, because it still needs more time to confirm whether the outbreak has been contained in the city, he said.

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