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Barack Obama

China's Wuhan says all schools to reopen on Tuesday

FILE PHOTO: A teacher and senior high school students wearing face masks are seen inside a classroom on their first day of returning to campus following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China May 6, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Wuhan, Ground Zero for the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chinese city hardest hit by the coronavirus, will reopen all its schools and kindergartens on Tuesday, local authorities said.

As many as 2,842 educational institutions across the city are set to open their doors to almost 1.4 million students when the autumn semester gets underway, the local government announced on Friday. Wuhan University reopened on Monday.

The city said it has drawn up emergency plans to switch back to online teaching should risk levels change. It advised students to wear masks to and from school and avoid public transportation if possible.

Schools have been ordered to stock up on disease control equipment and to carry out drills and training sessions to help prepare for new outbreaks. They must also restrict unnecessary mass gatherings, and submit daily reports to health authorities.

Foreign students and teachers who have not received notice from their school will not be allowed to return, it said.

The central Chinese city, where the COVID-19 epidemic is believed to have originated, was locked down for more than two months from late January. The city’s death toll of 3,869 accounts for more than 80% of China’s total.

Wuhan has been steadily returning to normal since April, when the lockdown was lifted, and it has not reported any new local transmissions of the coronavirus since May 18.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by William Mallard

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